Newcastle Falcons U18s fought back from a 25-8 deficit to draw their final Aviva U18 League game of the season at Kingston Park on Saturday.
Trailing by 17 points heading into the final quarter of an hour, tries from wing Dan Marshall, lock Aidan Coulthard and fly half Sam Leeming , along with a conversion from the number 10 overhauled the deficit, allowing the club to sign off the campaign with a fourth place finish in the Northern Conference
After taking an early lead through a Leeming penalty, the young Falcons endured a difficult half hour as their Tigers counterparts showed a ruthless edge for the majority of the first half, ruthless punishing Falcons handling errors and indiscipline to gain territory and score tries.
The East Midlands side had scored four within twenty five minutes, three of which came from penalties against the hosts, which were subsequently kicked to touch and then driven towards the line.
With missed conversions minimising the damage inflicted, the young Falcons stuck to their task and tried to find a way back into the game and while they were making progress, loose balls and aggressive defence from the Tigers were keeping the hosts from the line.
The Falcons added to their score with the last play of the half following a number of scrums after being held up over the line. Getting the ball away quickly, Scrum Half Charlie Gowling used quick hands to create an overlap for Garry Izomor to exploit in the South West corner.
After weather an initial storm from the visitors the Falcons made some good running but were unable to make inroads into the Tigers lead.
When the visitors scored their fifth try of the day 20 minutes from time, it seemed that the games was over as a contest but, instilled with strong work ethic, the U18s stuck to their task, earning the opportunities to score and punish the visitors flagrancy with the boot.
The Tigers had missed all five of their conversion attempts and with Leeming’s 80th minute try squaring the match, could do nothing but hope he encountered similar difficulties to avoid a defeat.
With almost audible sighs of relief as the ball drifted wide, the Falcons could be forgiven for feeling disappointed to lose out, but in the context of the game, a draw was a fair result.