Darlington Mowden Park full-back Cameron Mitchell enjoyed shining on home soil despite his England Counties side falling to an injury-time penalty against the Ireland Club XV.
Almost 5,000 fans were on hand at the Northern Echo Arena to watch the two countries’ best amateur players locking horns, Ireland winning 23-22 thanks to five David Joyce penalties.
“I am as happy as I can be after a defeat,” said Mitchell, joined by Mowden team-mate Pierce Phillips and the Blaydon trio of Robbie Kalbraier, Chris Wearmouth and Gavin Jones.
“It was a great night for Mowden with the turn-out of the supporters and everyone tried their absolute hardest by putting their bodies on the line.
“It was the result we all came for and it hurts falling just short, but it was still a great night and everybody enjoyed it. Playing for England Counties has been an unbelievable honour, just to pull on that white shirt.
“It has been amazing, and it is great for the club to have put on a night like Friday’s.
“We are top of National Two North, building week by week, and we are just working towards our goal of promotion with the great squad and management we have here.”
Tynedale climbed two places outside the National One relegation spots thanks to a 19-10 win at Loughborough, their second-team joining Morpeth in the final of the Northumberland Senior Cup by beating Northumbria University 19-12.
Blaydon were beaten 32-13 at Cinderford, Novos winning the Durham and Northumberland One relegation crunch tie with bottom club Bishop Auckland 31-3.
Newcastle-born Sarah Hunter scored for England Women in their 17-10 win over Ireland, Zach Kibirige and Scott Wilson starting for England Under-20s in their 33-9 victory.