BOTH Darlington clubs were delighted to secure victory with a late try on Saturday, while Blaydon went clear at the top of National Three North with a 24-3 home win against Cleckheaton.

No 8 Alan Brown powered over from a scrum in the last minute to seal a 16-15 win for Darlington at home to Macclesfield after falling behind five minutes earlier.

There was similar jubilation at Mowden Park as visitors Tynedale looked like stretching their run of eight wins when they reduced a 30-17 deficit to one point with tries in the 62nd and 66th minutes.

They continued to attack but when centre Will Massey attempted to chip over the home defence the ball was gathered by his opposite number, Jamie Connolly, who raced half the length of the field to score under the posts.

With five minutes left, the conversion gave Mowden a 37-29 win to maintain their 100 per cent home record and deny Tynedale a second bonus point in a match in which the try count was 5-5.

On his return from injury Michael Breen kicked two penalties and two conversions for Mowden before being replaced by Ben Allerton for the last 15 minutes.

After losing No 8 Jason Smithson in the warm-up with a recurrence of his adductor muscle injury, Mowden fell behind to a try by Tynedale winger John Parker.

But they were 18-10 up by half-time, Breen's penalties being followed by a try from winger Simon Jennions following a good build-up.

Tynedale replied with the first of two tries by back row man Matthew Fieldhouse, but just before half-time home fly half Lewis Farrar strolled through a static defence to go under the posts.

Six minutes after the break a converted try by Tynedale scrum half Ross Sansom had the gap down to one point, but Mowden forged ahead as good moves were finished by full back Iain Dixon and replacement flanker Chris Wearmouth, who went on for Ben Lonsdale.

To win with a depleted side was a huge relief for Darlington as defeat would have dropped them back into the relegation frame.

In a forward-dominated game Macclesfield had more than their share of possession but did little with it, while Darlington defended well and took their chances.

Led by outstanding hooker Dan Oselton, the forwards put in a massive effort, with prop Lee Hoggart making an excellent debut, as did winger Dan Ehrle.

Playing downwind, Macclesfield went ahead after four minutes when poor defence allowed them a three-man overlap.

But they managed only to add a penalty before half-time, when the score was 8-3 and although the wind died Darlington levelled four minutes after the break.

From a five-metre scrum the ball was moved out for full back Frankie Coulson to score in the corner and fly half Charlie Rayner's second penalty put them 11-8 ahead after 68 minutes.

It looked a real body blow when a period of Macclesfield pressure produced a try, but Brown had the last word when he drove over off the back of a five-metre scrum.

Blaydon must now be promotion favourites as their four-try bonus point helped to take them three clear of Rugby Lions, who lost at home to Preston Grasshoppers.

Skipper Dave Guthrie had to retire with 20 minutes left because of his neck problem, but the forwards continued to dominate, particularly at the line-out, with Paul Clark outstanding.

Centre Martin Shaw picked up only Blaydon's second yellow card of the season for a professional foul in the 32nd minute, but they scored while he was off when flanker Duncan Brown finished a forward drive.

Shaw's first touch on his return came as the ball was moved along the line and Brown appeared outside the centres to score again.

There was also a try for debutant scrum half Duncan Pollock, who shot through a gap following a scrum 20 metres out.

The fourth try came with 12 minutes left when No 8 Peter Altona broke off a maul and shrugged off a tackle to go under the posts for fly half Dan Kyle to add his second conversion.

North Two East leaders Middlesbrough won 58-11 at home to Old Crossleyans, who were the better side for the first 15 minutes.

The first time Boro attacked they were awarded a penalty try when a maul was pulled down a metre short, but the visitors came back with two penalties.

Boro then began to put some good moves together and tries by lock Iain Bradford, scrum half Peter Wright and hooker Richard Horton helped them take a 32-6 half-time lead.

Prop Craig Chapman, previously the only member of the side not to have scored this season, was on hand to touch down after fellow prop Isa Warsama almost reached the line, then the ball went through a dozen pairs of hands before winger Andy Micklewright scored.

Finally full back Simon Moore added a try to his two penalties and six conversions.

West Hartlepool slipped out of contention when they lost 28-22 at home to Morpeth, while Durham City continued their improvement with a 29-7 home win against Sheffield.

Prop Mark Cammiss scored his third try in two weeks on the way to an 18-0 lead and there were also tries for Mark Thompson, Howard Johnson and Arnie Stevenson, while James Walker kicked three penalties and a conversion.

A converted try by Gareth Foreman five minutes into added time gave Hartlepool Rovers a 10-6 win at home to Rochdale.

Stockton did well to trail only 8-0 after playing into a strong wind at Alnwick, but with four regulars at a wedding, plus two late cry-offs, inexperience told as they lost 32-10.

Jeremy Good gave Stockton hope with a penalty shortly after half-time, but missed tackles saw them go 27-3 down before an attempt to kick for touch from a penalty in midfield resulted in Tom Jeffery catching the ball and racing over.

Good converted, but Alnwick scored again from the last move of the match.

Billingham remain third but now have easily the best points difference in D and N One after a 62-0 win at home to Ryton.

Alick Garbutt scored three of the ten tries and player-coach Chris Hyndman two before retiring with 30 minutes left. Brothers Paul and Craig Shepherd, plus Michael and Joe Evans, again touched down, as did Paul Woodhouse, while Joe Evans landed six conversions.