Hodgson proves his worth for Mowden

First published in Rugby Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

TWO tries each for flanker Ollie Hodgson and scrum half A J Smith helped Darlington Mowden Park to a 31-5 win at Otley, maintaining second place in National Two North.

Hodgson, from Middlesbrough, has had few opportunities because of the glut of back row talent, but staked his claim for a regular place by scoring the first two tries in the 14th and 19th minutes.

Smith and No 8 Guy Van Den Dries had the four-try bonus point in the bag by halftime, Gavin Painter adding three conversions for a 26-0 lead.

Winger Tom Kill was injured early in the second half but the rout looked set to continue when Smith grabbed his second after 51 minutes.

Otley stuck at it, however, and with Mowden’s replacement lock Glen Young in the sin bin they scored their consolation try two minutes from time.

Blaydon also led 26-0 at half-time in stretching their unbeaten run in National One to ten games with a 45-14 home win against Worthing.

The bonus point was secured after 29 minutes with No 8 Jason Smithson scoring two of the tries from driving mauls.

Having travelled as far as Derby the previous evening, the visitors were slow to get going and Smithson was withdrawn after 30 minutes as a precaution, allowing Andrew Archibald to prove his worth.

On his comeback from one injury full back Nathan Bailey suffered another and winger Sean Brown also had to retire when Blaydon had used all their replacements.

They still added two tries when down to 14 men and finished with centre Tom Banks at No 8.

Winger Tom Jeffery was man of the match, scoring in the first half and breaking from his own half late in the game, beating three men to set up a try for Banks.

Hooker Fran Entressengle finished off forward pressure, high-stepping lock Keith Laughlin burst through to score and Brown finished a good move from 20 metres.

Andrew Baggett added five conversions, whereas Tynedale fly half Gavin Beasley chose a bad time to have an off-day in a 28-27 defeat at Cinderford.

The visitors won the trycount 5-3, but Beasley converted only one and missed a penalty with the last kick of the game.

Tries by Sepp Visser and Chris Harris had Tynedale 10- 3 up at half-time but they conceded three tries in the first ten minutes of the second half. Visser went on to complete a hat-trick and flanker Matt Charters also touched down, but it proved in vain.

Westoe won the National Three North derby at Percy Park 25-16 after two tries by Ben Wilson helped them into a 22-0 at the break. Former Mowden Park scrum half Todd Harrison was among the scorers for Percy Park, but they slipped below their visitors into fourth bottom place.

Billingham are alongside them after losing 23-10 at Morley.

West Hartlepool moved up to third in North One East when a last-minute try earned them a 25-22 win at home to Old Crossleyans.

After struggling to break down a strong defence, West trailed 22-13 with 14 minutes left but then the visitors failed to gather a chip by Stu Waites and Luke Mallinson dived on the loose ball to score.

Andrew Rollins dived over from a ruck for the winning try, converted by Waites, who was also on target after prop Ian Pinchen drove over for the first try.

Middlesbrough saw a 10-5 lead after 30 minutes turn into a 45-10 defeat away to leaders Cleckheaton, who scored at regular intervals once they began to run the ball.

A break by fly half Matthew Todd set up a tenth-minute try for winger Connor Foley, Todd adding the conversion and a penalty for Boro’s points.

With the forwards holding their own, they trailed only 12- 10 at the interval but conceded five tries afterwards.

There was no change at the top of D and N One as leaders Horden continued their good form with a 55-12 win at home to Gosforth.

Guisborough won 36-20 at home to Consett and Durham City remain third after beating visitors Novos 50-26.

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