DARLINGTON Mowden Park Sharks continued their unbeaten promotion push with a 45-11 crushing of Camphill – and it was a performance against a physical side which proved they may have what it takes to be champions.
Sharks scored first – under the posts courtesy of Georgina Roberts, converted by Katy Mclean – and they continued to press, not allowing Camphill to break the defences until a penalty was given away under the posts bringing the score to 7-3.
But the next 20 minutes saw two more tries for the Sharks who went into the break 19-6 up, Camphill having kicked another penalty.
In the second half, both teams came out fighting and for 10 minutes played excellent rugby until a defensive error by the Sharks allowed Camphill’s Jo Kilby to run 60 yards and place the ball under the posts. The league leaders did not let this faze them, though, and stepped up a gear, with captain Tamara Taylor leading by example to carve through their defence and help set up the next two tries.
Mclean went on to score a try of her own and the final try that sealed the win came from the player who had started the rout – Roberts – who side-stepped two players and bounced off a third to score beside the posts.
In rugby league, Gateshead Thunder’s Under-18s went down 20-0 at home to East Leeds at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium.
Meanwhile, there was a boost for organisers of the North-East Universities Saturday League, when all six scheduled games went ahead.
Pace-setters St Hild/Bede extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 15-5 win at Newcastle Crusaders, but Durham Development, 31-12 winners at Blaydon, and St Cuthbert’s, who beat Collingwood 33-7, are also in good form and in close pursuit.
Blaydon 12 Durham Development 31, Collingwood 7 St Cuthbert’s 33, Medicals Barbarians 25 Northumbria Freshers 0, Newcastle Crusaders 5 St Hild/Bede 15, Newcastle Spartans 17 Newcastle Brumbies 23, Stockton Colleges 5 Hatfield 19.
Durham Development v Collingwood, Newcastle Brumbies v Newcastle Crusaders, Hatfield v Newcastle Spartans, St Cuthbert’s v Medicals Barbarians, St Hild/Bede v Blaydon, Northumbria Freshers v Stockton Colleges.