A CRACKING comeback meant it was a losing end to 2017 for Ruthin.

The Blues appeared to be on course for a WRU Division One (North) triumph when they led local rivals Mold 24-12 during the second half of Saturday's contest.

However, the Flintshire visitors responded with 14 unanswered points to secure a narrow victory.

On a very soft pitch at Cae Ddol, Ruthin and Mold played out a competitive match, where either side could have won right up until the last minute.

In the event, the visitors came out on top with their forwards getting the better of the Blues' defence.

After an initial flurry by Mold in the Blues' half after kick-off, the visitors defended well for most of the rest of the first half as Ruthin tried to get some points on the board.

They eventually did so with a successful penalty goal from Nathan Jones after 20 minutes.

However, the home outfit couldn’t find a way to get past a strong Mold defence in the sticky conditions during the remainder of the half.

The score remained at 3-0 to Ruthin until the 40th minute, when Mold were awarded a penalty in their opponents' half.

They went on to drive over for a try from the ensuing lineout, with Jaco Oosterhuyzen getting the score and Jack Pearson added the conversion points.

At 7-3 to the visitors during the break, there was all to play for in the second half.

Straight after the restart, the Blues went back into the lead with a fine try by second row Sion Roberts, which was converted by Nathan Jones.

Then, within three minutes, Nathan Jones went over the whitewash himself to put the Blues 17-7 ahead.

Almost immediately, Mold reduced the arrears with a copycat try of the one in the first half, with their pack driving over from a lineout.

Ryan Kirby claimed the honours.

Again, the Blues responded with centre Emyr Gwynedd steaming over the visitors’ line for a converted try to put Ruthin 24-12 ahead and seemingly in the clear.

From the restart, Mold’s forwards delivered again with another drive over from a lineout and the arrears were reduced to 24-19.

On this occasion, Aled Ellis got the try and Pearson slotted over the conversion.

After a period of messy play with a slippery ball in Mold’s half, the visitors cleared with a penalty kick.

Their pack then tied up the Blues' defence before passing the ball out to the wing, where Danny Williams went over the whitewash.

Pearson once more converted to put Mold 26-24 ahead.

With some 10 minutes to go, the remainder of the play was in Mold’s half as Ruthin tried to claw back the points, but the visitors' defence held.

The Blues' last chance to regain the lead was a difficult penalty kick in the 79th minute.

The ball dropped short and Mold came away with a bonus point win, meaning that Ruthin had to be content with a losing bonus point.