Regional review: Darlington Mowden Park maintain gap with late bonus point

National Two North leaders stay three clear thanks to scrum-half's late try

A late try from South African scrum-half Zylon McGaffin handed Darlington Mowden Park the bonus point which keeps them three clear at the top of National Two North.

Mowden were 24-11 home winners over Preston Grasshoppers, going up through early tries from forwards Guy van den Dries and Jack Alcock inside the opening 14 minutes.

Shaun McCartney’s try on the half-hour pushed them further in front, but it was not until a 74th minute catch-and-drive McGaffin delivered the all-important bonus.

In National One, Blaydon were beaten 31-26 at home by Richmond, claiming a pair of bonus points but failing to respond to Harison Edward’s converted try 13 minutes from time. Micky Ward’s men had four tries and a 26-7 lead just after the half-hour due to a pair of touch-downs from Simon Barber and one apiece for Jason Smithson and Nathan Bailey, but they failed to build on it for the rest of the game on a day when Tynedale were rained off at Loughborough.

The weather also accounted for Percy Park’s National Three North trip to Huddersfield, Westoe losing 59-19 at home to Sale in a result which leaves them five points and two places above the three relegation spots.

Alnwick’s 31-7 win at Wheatley Hills pulled them away from trouble in North One East, Whitley Bay Rockliff leapfrogging Ryton to go top of Durham and Northumberland Two, winning 40-20 at Seaton Carew.

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