Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Mowden ready to grace a bigger stage
MOWDEN are currently playing rugby fit to grace any arena and they remain optimistic in their plan to move to Darlington's former football stadium.
The ambitious scheme still hinges on their ability to persuade the council to let them have 20 acres of land adjacent to The Northern Echo Arena at what they deem an acceptable price. The next meeting will be held tomorrow.
Mowden stretched their winning run to five games ahead of this week's testing trip to Bromsgrove. They passed a good examination up front on Saturday, when pace made the difference after they led only 12-10 early in the second half.
Mowden have pace aplenty, with Lewis Johnson, newly-signed from Westoe, making his debut on the left wing following a late reshuffle.
With star centre Chris Peace suffering from a chest infection, Grant Connon switched from ten to 12 with Tom Hodgson returning at fly half.
Johnson ousted Max Connon, with Shaun McCartney on the bench after the RFU apparently mislaid Sean Brown's registration. As previously observed, it will be a tricky task keeping them all happy.
Two highly-rated young forwards, Ben Simpson and Henry Forbes, had to wait until late in the game to get on once the threat from the visiting pack had been subdued.
Stockport had plenty of solid citizens, including a replacement in yellow boots who went on at centre but proved more of an honest plodder than a fancy dan.
Mowden were much more likely to strike from deep through the pace and elusiveness of scrum half Zylon McGaffin, centre Cameron Mitchell and flanker Rory Duff.
Defensively, they owed much to the fearlessly combative Luke Wishnowsky, while Hodgson did more than his share of tackling.
The two tries which earned a 12-7 interval lead resulted from winger Chris McTurk and Grant Connon squeezing in at the right corner. But the three which decided the match resulted from electrifying long-range attacks.
After a period of pressure in the left corner, Mowden took the lead through McTurk's try, well converted by Hodgson, but Stockport dominated the next 15 minutes and deservedly drew level.
A break down the middle by Connon got Mowden back on the front foot and after the sin-binning of the Stockport hooker, who refused to stay on his feet at the breakdown, only a questionable forward pass prevented a try.
Mowden did regain the lead, however, when a burst by Mitchell set up Connon's try.
Back up to full-strength, the visitors started the second half strongly and after a powerful line-out drive they kicked a penalty to make it 12-10.
It looked like being a tight game, but two converted tries in five minutes settled it. First No 8 Danny Dixon put McGaffin away from a scrum on halfway and the move ended with skipper Junior Fagalilo crashing over.
Then Mitchell and McTurk combined in a high-speed attack up the right before the ball came back inside for Wishnowsky to send Hodgson almost to the line. The ever-present Duff was on hand to finish.
Stockport gave themselves a glimmer of hope when a Hodgson clearance was charged down and the man in yellow boots went round behind the posts.
But any chance of a comeback ended when their next attack broke down and they were penalised, allowing the waspish McGaffin to break out.
Mowden were awarded a penalty under the posts and Hodgson obliged.
He also landed his fourth conversion out of five when Mitchell raced over for the final try after Forbes launched an attack in his own half and Duff made most of the running. The sheer pace of the move underlined the difference between the sides.