8:00am Monday 30th September 2013
By Tim Wellock
DARLINGTON Mowden Park full back Henry Robinson is the leading try scorer in National Two North with seven from four games.
He didn't score in the opening defeat at Macclesfield, but has had a big hand in the three wins since, bagging a brace in the 34-17 victory at Harrogate.
The hosts took a second minute lead through a converted try by flanker Chris Wilson, but their indiscipline cost them as they had five men sin-binned, mostly for offences at the breakdown.
Mowden scored 29 points while Harrogate were down to 14 and were able to pull away after the scores were level at 17-17 with 30 minutes left.
After the first of Harrogate's yellow cards Mowden scored through centre Callum Mackenzie and Gavin Painter converted from the touchline.
Both teams tried to run the ball as much as possible, but the only remaining points in the first half came from an exchange of penalties.
Mowden had already made two changes with hooker Ross Doneghan receiving a nasty cut above an eye and making way for Ross White, while prop Josh Bayford was replaced by Ben Simpson.
Flanker Liam Riley and winger Tom Kill failed to reappear for the second half, with Ollie Hodgson and Lewis Johnston taking over.
Mowden were the more purposeful and good support play saw Robinson cross, Painter converting, but Harrogate quickly replied through winger Harry Parrish.
They then picked up two yellow cards in quick succession and Mowden capitalised with tries by Robinson and Painter.
Harrogate tried to rally but had yet another man sin-binned through frustration and Shaun McCartney scored Mowden's last try after a brilliant off-load from Robinson.
Blaydon suffered a fourth successive defeat in National One when they lost 41-15 at Rosslyn Park.
They competed well for 55 minutes, trailing only 22-15, but have not yet found the confidence which took them to third place last season.
With player-coach Micky Ward having retired with a back injury, it didn't help when fellow prop Robbie Kalbraier was sin-binned after 58 minutes. The penalty was kicked then a home winger scored on the overlap.
Blaydon tried to hit back but conceded two more late tries, with former Tynedale No 8 Sam Shires scoring at the death.
They defended well in the first half and scored the only try through flanker Rob Bell in his final game for the club.
Four penalties gave the hosts a 12-8 lead and it became 22-8 before centre Tom Bramwell capped a good performance by bursting down the middle to go under the posts. Andrew Baggett converted but then it all went wrong for Blaydon.
For the second successive season Billingham lost at home to Percy Park in National Three North. It was 15-15 at half-time, but the visitors won 32-22, scoring second half tries through Ali Blair and Michael Langland.
Westoe won 36-29 at home to Sandal, scoring tries through James Cork, Chris Cork, Peter Dent, Andrew Lawson and Ramie Elliott, plus four conversions and a penalty by Matthew Mellish.
West Hartlepool maintained their 100 per cent record in North One East when they won 46-14 at home to Malton and Norton. Scrum half Ryan Painter scored a 15-minute hat-trick either side of half-time after West led only 3-0.
No 8 Sam Miller scored the first try from an overthrown Malton and Norton line-out close to their own line. Painter dashed over after a quick penalty then scored again from close range.
Five minutes after half-time he completed his hat-trick when the ball went loose from the base of a scrum. Further tries from Colin Cheslin, Dan Boatman and Liam Bailey.
Middlesbrough's troubles heightened with a 41-5 defeat at Huddersfield YMCA. Late cry-offs meant the plan to play Simon Moore at blind side was abandoned and he reverted to centre alongside Dominic Coleman.
The faster and stronger home backs scored four tries and three conversions plus a penalty gave them a 29-0 half-time lead. Winger Rhys Kilbride scored the only try for Boro, who hope to have skipper Rob Bellerby back next week.
Blyth are the only team with a 100 per cent record in Durham and Northumberland One after Horden were held to a 26-26 draw at home to Darlington.
After missing the whole of last season, Darlington coach Sean Richardson went on at scrum half for the second half and they came back from 26-14 down with seven minutes to go.
Andrew Turner kicked three penalties then converted a try for Horden to lead 16-0 before Andrew Pugh scored either side of half-time after being set up by fellow centre Adam Gardner.
Horden scored two tries in ten minutes before Pugh completed his hat-trick from a tap penalty then skipper Paul Shepherd was driven over.
Mark Baldwin added his third conversion from under the posts to level the scores and after winning the try count 4-3 Darlington earned three points.
Bishop Auckland won 22-20 at home to Gosforth with fly half Tim Tombling again playing a leading role as he converted a try by centre Tom Burn and added five penalties.
The try came when they won the ball on their own 22 and Tombling's kick was caught on the full by Lawrence Oliver, who was stopped just short.
Bishops were strong in the scrums and mauls but struggled at the line-out and after driving over for a late try Gosforth were threatening to do it again when they infringed at the death.
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