Tynedale avoided a first relegation on a dramatic climax to the National League season.
A 14-14 home draw with fellow strugglers Henley Hawks was enough to keep them afloat in the third tier of the English game, needing two points to guarantee safety as Dan Temm’s try and a pair of James Comben penalties had them 6-5 down at half-time.
A Gavin Beasley penalty and drop-goal had the home side in front, but another Comben penalty and Chris Bart’s try set up the missed conversion which would have given Henley victory.
Blaydon’s 29-10 loss at Loughborough sees them ending the season in sixth, tries from Keith Laughlin and Robbie Morris their only consolation as the students bagged the victory they needed to stay up. Darlington Mowden Park looked as if they had done enough to seal the National Two North title and automatic promotion as they hosted league leaders Macclesfield.
However, a last-minute try means they must now go into a play-off to climb into National One.
That will come on Saturday against National Two South runners-up Ampthill at the Northern Echo Arena, where an estimated 3,000 witnessed them winning a thrilling game 28-24.
Macclesfield’s late try brought the pair of bonus points which snatched the title from Mowden’s grasp, a four-try showing from the home side at least being enough to pip Stourbridge into the play-off berth on points difference.