Darlington has forged ahead of Teesside on the rugby front in recent seasons, but there were signs on Saturday that it may not last.

Promoted to North One, Middlesbrough enjoyed the best result when they won 44-12 at Sheffield, while Stockton edged home 42-39 in a thriller at home to Morpeth in North Two East.

The two Darlington clubs have lost both their opening games in National Three North, with the alarm bells louder over Blackwell Meadows after a 33-7 home defeat by Blaydon. It wasn't quite so bad for Darlington Mowden Park, but they needed a late try to reduce the margin to 30-18 at Tynedale.

Dave Richardson, who has returned to Acklam Park after spells with Stockton, Newcastle Falcons and Mowden, was the two-try star of Boro's win.

His brother Lee also touched down, as did winger Tom Bivens, lock Dave Hinchley and hooker Richard Horton, while Simon Moore added two penalties and two conversions.

Richardson also kicked a conversion but it was his general play at fly half which made Boro tick as they roared away after being level at 12-12 midway through the first half. The highlight came when No 8 Ian Bradford fed Richardson from a scrum on halfway and he split the home defence to score.

It was 26-12 at half-time and with the wind behind them Boro were in command after the break.

The lead changed hands six times at Stockton, but a try by replacement winger Owen Jenkins had the hosts 42-32 up until Morpeth scored a converted try in injury time.

Otherwise it was nip and tuck all the way with a lot of exciting, broken play producing five tries each. Although he didn't score, winger Simon Crozier was back to his best for Stockton, while Alan Brown, Mattie Oates and Dan Muirhead also played well.

They were 7-0 down after 30 seconds, but two tries by centre Graeme Kell, plus two conversions and two penalties by Jeremy Good put them 20-12 ahead at the break.

It didn't look enough as they had played with the wind and slope, especially when Morpeth scored a converted try straight after half-time.

Good landed another penalty, but the visitors forged 29-23 ahead before Oates scored a converted try, only for the one-point lead to be overhauled by a Morpeth penalty.

With ten minutes left a good loop move produced a try for Good, which he also converted for a personal tally of 22 points. Jenkins' try made the game safe.

Fly half Dan Clappison was the star of Blaydon's win at Darlington with two tries and four conversions, while centre Nick Wainwright also scored twice.

Blaydon played well, kicking for the corners downwind and retaining possession well, while Darlington tried to run the ball with little success when they had the benefit of the wind in the second half.

Andrew Turner's only kick at goal was blown wide, but he did score Darlington's try under the posts following a tap penalty by Richard Snowball when they were 33-0 down.

With their clearances not finding touch, Darlington were soon under pressure and after a high ball into the 22 Blaydon broke blind from a ruck to send Clappison over after 12 minutes.

Darlington then had their best spell as they rolled a few mauls and put in one good attack.

But after 26 minutes Clappison chipped ahead following a line-out and Wainwright streaked away to score.

Then the other centre, Luke Wattam, did well to hold a poor pass and find winger Simon Barber, who went round his marker to score. Clappison converted from the touchline.

Just before half-time Wainwright broke and found hooker Matt Hall outside him. He was hauled down ten metres short but popped the ball up for Clappison to finish the move.

It was 26-0 at half-time and shortly afterwards Wainwright read a Darlington attack and intercepted before racing 70 metres to score.

Tynedale chose to play into the wind against Mowden, who dominated the first quarter but couldn't break down a resolute defence.

A loose pass was picked up by Tynedale and on their first visit to the Mowden half Phil Belgian put them ahead with a penalty when the visiting backs fell offside.

Mark Bedworth replied and it was still all Mowden, but they were in disarray when Tynedale broke away and a penalty was conceded under the posts, which Belgian missed.

Tynedale looked the more dangerous attackers and scored a brilliant try in the corner through full back Will Massey after the ball went along the line twice.

Belgian converted, but Bedworth reduced the gap to 10-6 with a penalty in the last minute of the first half.

Poor tackling allowed Tynedale to score straight after the break through prop Peter Southern, then Mowden sent on Tongans Tanginoa Fosita and Beni Fakalelu for flanker Matt Wright and prop Dave Sinclair.

When Mowden were awarded a penalty ten metres out, the hosts expected them to go for touch, but skipper Richard Holbrough took a quick tap and fed Fakalelu, who charged over.

At 15-11 after 57 minutes Mowden were back in it, but three minutes later Tynedale cut them open with the first of two tries by Jake White.

Mowden sent on South African Michael Georgiou at fly half for Jonny Golightly, who did well in his first game for two years. They also switched winger Andy Foreman to scrum half and found more spark, leading to a late converted try for Bedworth.

Mowden have lost utility man Chris Strong to Barnard Castle and he helped them to a 24-21 win at Blyth.

In North Two East Redcar won 13-10 at home to Sandal thanks to a penalty try in injury time. Mark Patterson added the conversion to his two penalties.

The two Hartlepool rivals and Horden are still looking for their first league win, with West going down 31-6 at Malton and Norton, while Rovers lost 18-13 at home to Alnwick and Horden were beaten 49-34 at home to Driffield.

Brothers Brian and Gareth Foreman scored tries to put Rovers 10-5 ahead, but they trailed 18-10 before Gareth kicked a 71st-minute penalty.

Despite good kicking from fly half Dave Haswell, Westoe lost 10-5 at home to Huddersfield. Winger Paul Hagan's try just after half-time put Westoe 5-3 ahead but they were sunk by a converted try.

Consett, who have recruited ex-Newcastle hooker Billy Balshen as a player-coach alongside Mick Kent, lead Durham and Northumberland Division One after a 98-0 win against Ashington.

Durham City led 13-0 at York but lost 17-16. James Walker kicked three penalties for City and converted a try by Nick Howe, while York scored three tries through full back Tom Copeland, winger Rob Liddle and Rob Kama.

Flanker Ben Allerton, back from South Africa, scored two of Northallerton's five tries in a 31-20 win at home to West Leeds. Scrum half James Reid, winger Ed Pratt and player-coach Steve Robinson also touched down, with Brian Tucker adding three conversions.