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Mowden promotion joy
DARLINGTON Mowden Park are hoping for good news with regard to their ground move this week ahead of the promotion celebration party at their final home game of the season.
They made certain of the National Three North title with a 40-10 win at Waterloo and chairman of rugby Mike Keeligan said: “Now we want to put on a really good show against Lymm.
“This is a very satisfying end to our four-year plan and now we need to put another one in place. We have got it back to being a club with everyone involved, all the players will be back next season and we have some cracking kids coming through. The future is exciting.”
Mowden started strongly at Waterloo with two tries in the first seven minutes. Centre Cameron Michell took a good pass from fly half Max Connon to beat his marker on the inside and go under the posts.
Then scrum half Zylon McGaffin nipped through a gap to score and a second conversion made it 14-0.
The only other first half score was a penalty to Waterloo, whose forwards worked hard to stay in the game but began to run out of steam.
Mowden No 8 Danny Dixon’s powerful surges set up second tries for both Mitchell and McGaffin, while Connon dummied under the posts and there was also a try from a line-out.
Chris Campbell knocked the ball down for fellow lock Neil Young to gather and nip round the front of the line-out to score. Connon kicked three conversions and Tom Hodgson two before Waterloo scored at the death.
Westoe will be among the teams Mowden will play in National Two North, meaning they will face several former players, assuming they stay with the South Shields club following their disappointing slide out of the promotion frame.
Their hopes were shattered by a 47-6 home defeat by Caldy, for whom centre Gavin Roberts converted all five tries, one of which he scored, and added four penalties.
Fly half Simon O’Farrell kicked a penalty in each half for Westoe, but after lying second three weeks ago, they are now seventh.
West Hartlepool kept up their fine home run in National Three North with a 15-14 win against Beverley, all the points coming in the first half. West soaked up early pressure then scored two quick tries. Gareth Foreman broke away from a scrum on halfway to set up the first for Adam Larkin and four minutes later front row men Liam Bailey and Adam Coates put in the groundwork for skipper Dan Boatman to go over.
Beverley’s captain, Junior Tupai, proved a handful at inside centre and he set up a try before scoring himself.
Both were converted for a 14-10 lead, but after a period of pressure West worked the ball left and Andy Cheslin scored what proved the match-winning try in the corner.
The top three teams in North One East all lost, so while Billingham must wait another week to clinch the title, Middlesbrough and Wheatley Hills have handed Percy Park a stronger scent of the play-off place.
Boro are lucky to be still in the frame after losing 30-16 at home to Sheffield with former England fly half Alan Old, who played for both clubs, among those in attendance for a pre-match reunion lunch.
The old boys would not have been impressed by an error-strewn performance, in which Boro generally matched their visitors but handed them three soft second half tries, all converted.
Boro came back from 6-0 down to lead 8-6 at the break through a Jack Bircham penalty and a try by full back Matthew Todd, who came into the line to finish a neat move.
Sheffield scored from turnover ball five minutes after the interval and after Bircham kicked another penalty the game was lost when the visitors capitalised on mistakes to score twice in five minutes.
They added a penalty following a dust-up and time was almost up when hooker Richard Horton scored for Boro.
Billingham lost 30-27 at Northern, but two bonus points took them 15 clear of Wheatley Hills with three games left. One more point will be enough for Billingham, who are at home to Old Brodleians this week.
Darlington winger David Mackfall scored his third hattrick in five games in a 65-14 win at home to Gosforth.
Promotion from Durham and Northumberland One could be secured this week if Darlington win at Hartlepool Rovers and Alnwick fail to secure maximum points at Horden.
Full back Ross McNeilly scored the first try after a minute and also touched down in the second half as Darlington built on a 41-7 interval lead.
Centre Andy Pugh finished off a fine handling move down the left and right winger Matthew Sowerby also scored.
The rest of the 11 tries were from close range, scored by forwards Joe Hargreaves, Tom Wilkinson and Chris Oakley, plus scrum half Mark Baldwin. Henry Carver converted three of the first eight and Connor O’Leary two of the final three.
Stockton drew 14-14 at Ponteland, where a Jeremy Good drop goal nosed them ahead two minutes into injury time, only for the hosts to reply with a penalty.
Early Stockton pressure went unrewarded and they lost No 8 Scott Powell with a knee injury when he was charging for the line.
Ponteland came back with a penalty and a catch-and-drive try before penalties were exchanged during nine minutes of added time in the first half.
Matt Wootten, who had switched to No 8, scored off the back of a scrum for Stockton and a penalty by Good tied the scores prior to the injury time drama.
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