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Mowden benefiting from abundance of riches
Final Score: Darlington Mowden Park 41 Dudley Kingswinford 21
A THIRD successive win for Mowden Park confirmed their right to a top-six place in National Two North and underlined the difficulty they will face in keeping everyone happy.
Fly half Grant Connon and flanker Rory Duff showed their class when going on for the second half, but are unlikely to be content with bench duties. And with winger Chris McTurk set to return this week, the glut of talented backs will find themselves subjected to a rotation policy.
It's a similar story in the back row, where neither Luke Wishnowsky nor Guy Van Den Dries were involved in Saturday's entertaining romp.
There will be games at this level when Mowden will be drawn into the sort of tough forward combat which was lacking against a Dudley side who matched their hosts' enterprise but not their skills.
Zylon McGaffin darted and probed at scrum half, the excellent centre pairing of Chris Peace and Cameron Mitchell eluded tacklers and powerful winger Sean McCartney was always a threat.
Up front, No 8 Danny Dixon continued to press his claim for a regular place after being left out of the first two games and young prop Ben Simpson looked thoroughly at home once he got over an early blow to the cheek.
Tom Hodgson, who has done so well at fly half, switched to full back to accommodate Connon but continued to do the goal-kicking, converting four of the six tries in addition to landing the 35-metre penalty which opened the scoring.
Dudley responded with a strong attack but were penalised on the home 22 and Mowden broke out for Mitchell to go over from a ruck.
The conversion made it 10-0 after seven minutes, but the visitors again hit back strongly and 20 minutes later they led 13-10.
Their first try, in the right corner, stemmed from a quickly-taken penalty, the second, in the left, from ball stolen from Mowden at the back of a scrum.
Falling behind to a clearly inferior side stung Mowden into an immediate response and McGaffin nipped over from a penalty near the line.
That made it two tries and a penalty each but Hodgson's two conversions gave Mowden a 17-13 interval lead and they forged ahead by scoring the next four tries.
A McGaffin break sent Connon under the posts, then Connon floated a long pass for Peace and Mitchell to break away, with Peace getting the touchdown.
McCartney finished well in the right corner following a half break and brilliant off-load by Peace and the final try resulted from lock Tom Schofield having the confidence to take a quick penalty.
He gave Duff the chance to show his paces and the ex-Middlesbrough player put Richie Young over in the left corner.
Dudley scored the final try when they ran a free kick and the forwards drove over from close range, but they had been blown away after competing well until early in the second half.