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Durham cup joy for Darlington
DARLINGTON won the Durham Intermediate Cup when they beat Stockton 47-17 in the final at West Hartlepool TDSOB on Saturday.
Four converted tries in ten minutes either side of half-time proved decisive after Stockton had trailed only 7-5.
Despite fielding a weakened side, Darlington were able to avenge their two league defeats and after lacking a goal-kicker for most of the season they were delighted that Mark Baldwin converted six of their seven tries. Three were scored by left winger Matthew Sowerby.
Stockton were without their regular fly half and goal-kicker, Jeremy Good, but they opened the scoring when prop Mark Gilchrist crashed over following a driving maul.
Five minutes later Darlington took the lead when full back Aaron McNeilly finished a move down the right wing following several phases of play and Baldwin converted.
They went further ahead when Sowerby beat three men to score his first, but Stockton immediately launched a strong attack and were grounded just short of the line.
A Stockton player was then sin-binned for throwing the ball at an opponent and
Darlington took full advantage.
Right winger David Mackfall scored for a 21-5 half-time lead and on the resumption Daniel Carter weaved through to touch down before fellow centre Andy Pugh cut through to lay on Sowerby's second. He completed his hat-trick three minutes later following another break by Pugh.
Once back to full strength Stockton fought back through tries from winger Simon Crozier, which was converted by young fly half Steven Tampin, and replacement winger Dan Phinn.
Darlington scored the final try through replacement prop Joe Oselton, who wasn't fully fit and had made way for the return of Paul Shepherd.
John Guy, formerly of Salisbury, made an excellent debut in the back row for Darlington, while also making their first senior appearances were replacements Ryan Thompson (full back) and Craig Weller (lock).