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Mowden hoping for tougher test against visitors Caldy
4:07pm Friday 1st March 2013 in Sport
DARLINGTON Mowden Park are again in action at The Northern Echo Arena tomorrow, when they will hope for sterner opposition from Caldy than Huddersfield provided last week.
After two successive defeats had derailed their promotion bid, it was little more than a training run for Mowden, who scored five tries in each halfto beat National Two North’s bottom club 69-5.
That the match went ahead on an almost snow-free surface was a tribute to the spirit inspired by the move to the palatial stadium as 40 volunteers were joined by the security staff in clearing the pitch.
The players responded by scoring two converted tries in the first four minutes, but at that point it was already clear that the match would be no contest.
Three weeks previously Mowden were delighted to take £9,000 in gatemoney from a crowd of 1,500 for the first match atthe Arena, butit was only to be expected that the attendance would drop to about500onasnowyday with internationals on the television.
In the conditions there was much to admire about Mowden’s mobility and high-speed handling, and inside half an hour wingerChrisMcTurkhad scored a hat-trick.
TomHodgson, selectedatfly half, converted allthe firsthalf tries and added a penalty for a 38-5 lead.
Hemade way for GrantConnon, who faced harder kicks and landed three out of five as Mowden, with several more replacements on, took time to regain their momentum in the second half.
At least that gave them the chance to show they can also defend as Huddersfield battered away at the line for five minutes without getting over.
Flanker Rory Duff revelled in the open play and replacement No 8 Danny Dixon was very prominent in the last 20 minutes.
As usual, all the backs looked capable of performing at a higher level, with McTurk and centre Cameron Mitchell underlining their class.
Mitchell chipped and regathered in the middle of a 60-metre run for the second try and McTurk did something similar to complete his hattrick after intercepting on halfway for his second.
Former Barnard Castle centre Craig Dominick, making his second start, capped a good performance by stepping inside for the final try after providing the pass for Luke Wishnowsky to grab the previous one.
The others came from Dixon, scrum half Zylon McGaffin, prop Ralph Appleby and Max Connon.
Darlington lost 35-0 at Morpeth and with relegation now all but certain they might have to go into Yorkshire One rather than Durham and Northumberland One in order to balance the numbers.
Durham City are definitely going down and the third relegation spot is currently occupied by Middlesbrough. If it stays that way eitherBoro or Darlington will have to take the tougher route back via Yorkshire One.
Northallerton moved into mid-table in Yorkshire Three when they produced their best display of the season and won 24-10 at home to fourth-placed Thornensians.
North had four regular forwards missing but they had Rob Barnard and Rob Green available for the first time this season and out-scored the visitors by four tries to one.
The tries came from Jonny Baker, Jim Duggleby, Dougie Mullholland and John Franks with Dan Luck adding two conversions.
North weremostly incontrol apart from a 15-minute spell at the start of the second half, when Thorn started to outmuscle them and as North’s frustration grew they conceded a string of penalties.
Some tactical changes made all the difference as North introduced Dave Barrett and Nick Bainbridge for their defensive qualities. They calmed things down and guided North to a win which took them into their highest position of the season.
Rob Green just edged Barnard for the man of the match award. The second team game at Yarnbury was called off due to snow.
g Tries from Mowden Park forwards Guy Van Den Dries and Henry Forbes were in vain as defending champions Yorkshire went out of the National Under 20 Championships when they lost 37-25 against Lancashire at Broughton Park.