Darlington Mowden Park finally played to their potential, with forwards and backs combining in a fine display, to win 32-8 at Cleckheaton and climb clear of trouble in National Three North.

With Blaydon also turning on the style in the second half to win 44-19 at home to Bedford Athletic, both they and Mowden are six points clear of Rugby Lions.

If Blaydon win at Rugby next week it will ensure that all three relegated clubs are Midlanders, and the balance will be shifted further in favour of the North East if Harrogate come down from National Two.

Mowden started well, using the backs at every opportunity, and Peter Phelan and Iain Dixon both had strong runs before Michael Breen was held up on the line.

But they fell behind to a try after 15 minutes when they were caught out by a quick throw-in. The simple conversion was missed and after dominating for a while Cleckheaton also fluffed a penalty.

Mowden defended well, repelling two catch-and-drive attempts, and when they were awarded their first penalty after 40 minutes Mark Bedworth kicked it from wide out.

With the breeze behind them Mowden hit top gear to score five second half tries, the first coming through winger Phelan after the ball had been recycled six times.

Bedworth converted, but a Cleckheaton penalty reduced the gap to 10-8 after 52 minutes before Mowden hit back and took control.

Powerful forward play ended with a 25-metre burst by prop Peni Fakalelu to set up a try for Jason Smithson, then his fellow flanker Matt Wright latched on to a loose pass from ex-British Lion John Bentley to score.

It was all Mowden by this stage and with the backs producing their best display of the season centre Tom Lauriston burst through two tackles to score.

Finally Bedworth crashed over from a quickly-taken penalty and added his fourth conversion.

Depleted Blaydon had to draft in Richard Windle at full back for his first senior start since breaking his leg last season, and his superb kicking included two conversions from the touchline.

Against a big pack they led only 19-16 at half-time and were down to 14 men as lock Jimmy Houghton had been mysteriously sent off, accused of kicking out dangerously after going to ground.

But as Bedford tired Blaydon played a more expansive game in the second half and added 25 unanswered points.

Wingers Sean Hannah and Simon Barber scored the first two tries, then prop Paul Winter was driven over for the first of his two at a time when Blaydon were down to 13 men as David Falconer had been sin-binned.

Windle kicked two penalties to stretch the lead after half-time then scrum half Micky Dungait scored a try, popping up on the wing to finish off a move which started on halfway. Winter was driven over again for the final try.

Middlesbrough will avoid relegation from North One if they record a fourth successive home win against Liverpool St Helens next Saturday.

While rivals Vale of Lune lost 53-20 at Hull, Boro won 16-3 against Morley in a game dominated by the home forwards.

Simon Moore succeeded with one of two early penalty attempts and after 20 minutes flanker Mark Kerruish was driven over from a line-out.

Morley kicked a penalty just before half-time and improved after the break, but with the Boro pack excelling Moore again kicked a penalty then missed one.

Late in the game Ali Little replaced Mark Featherstone at centre and with his first touch he put in a good run and gave a scoring pass to lock Dave Hinchley.

Westoe need one point from their two remaining games to clinch the North Two East title after winning 52-32 at home to Hartlepool Rovers.

Huddersfield made sure of at least the play-off place by winning 23-10 at Stockton, who remain embroiled in a tight relegation scrap involving seven teams.

They made a disastrous start on Saturday and were 10-0 down after three minutes to a penalty and a converted try which followed a charged-down kick.

Once Stockton woke up it was an even contest and winger Richie Brown scored on the half hour before another penalty made it 13-5 at half-time.

The strong visiting forwards fashioned another try before winger Simon Crozier burst through and just made the line for Stockton.

But any hope they had vanished ten minutes from time when prop Gary Skirving swung an arm and was sent off just after they had driven their opponents back 40 metres. A minute later Huddersfield broke out to score.

It looks like being a nerve-racking finale for Stockton as they have two tough games left away to Rovers and at home to Westoe. They might have to rely on the two teams one point below them losing, but Sandal are at home to Horden next week, while Redcar have to visit Huddersfield then finish off at home to Rovers.

A 29-3 defeat at Morpeth did not bode well for Redcar's chances, but it kept Morpeth off the bottom, ahead of Horden on points difference.

They clash at Horden in the final game, so Horden still have an outside chance of survival after winning 34-9 at home to West Hartlepool, who will hope to clinch safety by winning at home to Driffield next week.

West were on top for the first 20 minutes and were rewarded by three penalties from David Tighe, but the turning point came when Allan Milne was guilty of backchat, bringing a penalty within Andrew Turner's range.

He slotted three more before half-time, one after Jonny Boatman was sin-binned for a high tackle, and Horden led 17-9 at the break.

West sent on Stuart Bennett against his former club, in place of Tim Sawyer, but Horden doubled their tally with two converted tries and Turner's fifth penalty.

Percy Park failed to clinch the Durham and Northumberland Division One title when they lost 20-10 at home to Northern, who remain third, trailing Durham City on points difference. City won 62-7 at Ryton, while York also stayed in the hunt for the play-off spot with a 23-7 home win against Billingham.

Northallerton won their Yorkshire Three match 48-3 at home to Stocksbridge with Ben Allerton, Ed Bulman and Ian Townsend scoring two tries each while Derek Keilloh and Martin Strong also touched down.

* Holders Blaydon are planning to play as strong a side as possible in Wednesday's Durham Cup tie at Horden (6pm). If they win then beat Rugby Lions on Saturday to ensure National Three North safety, they could play their cup semi-final at home to Darlington in midweek during the next fortnight.