10:12am Monday 25th November 2013
DARLINGTON Mowden Park full back Henry Robinson scored his second hat-trick of the season in a 62-17 win at Leicester Lions.
After his early season spree Robinson’s tries had dried up recently, but he remains top of the National Two North charts with 14.
His treble came in a 28- minute spell as Mowden ran amok in the second half. They trailed 14-7 after 15 minutes, but led 24-17 at the break and added 38 unanswered points.
Mowden scored ten tries to stun hosts who initially relied heavily on the power of their scrummage. The Lions scored though a pick and drive and were awarded a penalty try when a five-metre scrum went down.
Inbetween Mowden winger Callum Mackenzie powered over in the corner and they drew level again when a tap penalty by scrum half Andrew Smith allowed flanker Ollie Hodgson to break through and score near the posts.
Having been under pressure in the scrum, Mowden won a strike against the head at the next five-metre scrum, which proved a pivotal moment.
It was clear the tide had turned when a 30-metre maul was finished off by prop Ralph Appleby for Mowden to take the lead for the first time.
Good handling produced the bonus point try for winger Chris McTurk before halftime and after missing the latter two conversions Grant Connon handed over to centre Gavin Painter.
Three minutes after the restart hooker Ross Doneghan scored from a catch-and-drive and with the hosts unable to muster a response Mowden embarked on a brilliant display of running rugby.
Robinson scored after concerted pressure then No. 8 Guy Van Den Dries touched down wide out after good support and handling.
In a rare attack by the home side they knocked on and Mc- Turk snapped up the ball in his 22. He reached halfway and exchanged passes with Robinson before sending replacement scrum half Max Connon over.
Robinson scored the last two, with Painter converting four of the six second half tries.
Tynedale called in some reinforcements and went close to a shock win at Coventry in National One, although they were always behind and needed two tries at the death to get the gap down to 36-34.
It gave them a second bonus point but they are still ten adrift of safety after seven successive defeats, which they will have to end at home to bottom club Hull Ionians this week.
Prop Matty Shields, back with the club on loan from Plymouth Albion, scored two tries and there was also a brace for ex-Westoe winger Dan Rundle.
Westoe’s improvement in National Three North was halted by a 43-19 defeat at second- placed Huddersfield and Billingham are now only a point behind them after winning 25-17 at Bradford and Bingley.
Despite suffering an agonising 16-14 defeat at Rochdale, Middlesbrough’s improvement continued in North One East.
They were leading 14-10 until they were forced to play the last 12 minutes with 14 men after No 8 Iain Bradford received his second yellow card, both for technical offences.
Rochdale kicked two more penalties, the decider coming four minutes from time. Even then Boro had two chances to win it, but two accurate kicks by Matthew Todd proved just beyond his range.
Boro attacked at the start, but dropped the ball, resulting in Rochdale pressure. In keeping them out Bradford and flanker Matty John were sinbinned within a minute of each other.
But Boro held out and a Todd penalty gave them a 13th-minute lead, which they held for 15 minutes before Rochdale scored a converted try from a kick ahead then added a penalty.
Todd, who had reverted to full back with Peter Wright at fly half, landed penalties either side of half-time and Boro went ahead when Bradford picked up from a scrum and sent scrum half Connor Foley over.
Crucially, the conversion failed and Boro’s lead wasn’t quite enough.
West Hartlepool produced a fine display to win 30-19 at home to second-placed Huddersfield YMCA and remain unbeaten at home.
Both sides scored three tries but Stu Waites was on song with the boot, adding 15 points and settling nerves after West conceded 12 points in three minutes in the second half.
Early scrum dominance allowed Ryan Painter to break on the short side and send Luke Mallinson over in the left corner, Waites converting prior to slotting a drop goal and a penalty for a 13-0 lead after 28 minutes. YMCA drove a maul over to make it 13-7 at the break.
Early in the second half Scott Butcher broke up the right wing and Waites slipped a pass to Ian Pinchen, who rode a tackle to score under the posts. YMCA came back with two tries in three minutes, the second resulting from the restart not going ten metres. From the scrum an inside pass sent the outside centre away for a try.
The conversion made it 20- 19, but West fought back and were rewarded by a second penalty from Waites.
With eight minutes to go Liam Bailey broke away and sent full back Colin Cheslin over, Waites converting via the right post.
There was no change at the top of Durham and Northumberland One as the leading pair both enjoyed comfortable home wins.
Guisborough beat Bishop Auckland 40-15 and Darlington won 59-17 against Novos, who belied their position at the bottom with a game first half performance to trail only 12-7.
Sam Hardy impressed on the wing for Darlington, scoring two fine individual tries, while Alex Lineton brought some steel to the centre on his return to action.
The opening try came when Jamie Chalmers finished a catch-and-drive, converted by full back Nick Baldwin before he departed after 25 minutes with damaged knee ligaments.
Hardy’s first made it 12-0 before Darlington tried to run out of defence and lost the ball, allowing Novos to score.
The visitors’ defence began to creak as the second half wore on and there were further tries for Colin Rogers, Adam Gardner, Henry Carver, Hardy, Tony Taylor, Lineton and Mark Baldwin, who added five conversions.
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