IMPORTS have been a mixed blessing for Mowden Park in recent years, and so it proved on Saturday.

For the second successive match South African fly half Johann Booysen was highly instrumental in the win, while Tanginoa Fosita and Junior Fagalilo both played well.

Both were also sin-binned, however, and a third Pacific Islander, Tabua Cakacaka, was on the field for only two minutes before being sent off for a blatant punch.

Recently signed from Gateshead Thunder, perhaps he felt things needed livening up when Mowden sent him on for the last five minutes. Or perhaps he felt the Macclesfield No 12 had got away with too much and needed sorting out.

Either way it is unlikely to have endeared him to the Mowden hierarchy as by the time he has completed whatever ban is dished out the Rugby League season will not be far away.

Unfortunately Cakacaka's brainstorm overshadowed most of the action in yet another game which the referee seemed to think was taking place in order for him to show off his knowledge of the laws.

The early sin-binning of Fosita was ridiculous as he did no more than stand in the way of an attacker who should have got rid of the ball before he ran into him.

Fosita is a big, strong man who only a month ago played in the second row. Mowden have now decided he is best utilised on the wing and it's not difficult to see why because, as his 60-metre interception try near the end of the game showed, he has genuine pace.

His absence in the early stages wasn't costly as Mowden went ahead while he was in the bin. Referee Phil Davies spent a fair chunk of that time establishing that scrums had to be set precisely according to his wishes and penalised a Macclesfield prop for having his hand on the ground.

Iain Dixon missed that penalty, but landed a simple conversion shortly afterwards when Booysen's nicely-weighted chip through from the 22 allowed centre Gareth Kerr to score.

Macclesfield came to Mowden last April lying second in the table and suffered easily their biggest defeat of the season. They evidently haven't recovered and injuries didn't help as they fielded their third-choice fly half and there was a lack of pace in the back row with skipper Dave Muckalt having to switch from lock to open side.

Matt Holmes played well at No 8 for Mowden, while Anthony Peck did well on his return from injury, but his fellow lock Naude Pretorius lasted only 35 minutes before limping off.

Mark Darlington went on and Fagalilo again showed his versatility by moving from hooker to second row.

A speculative kick ahead by Booysen produced the next points when a Macclesfield winger dithered so badly that Booysen flattened him under the posts and a penalty for not releasing gave Dixon an easy three points. He added another penalty just before half-time to make it 13-0.

On the restart Macclesfield kicked a penalty to the corner and drove for the line, but Peck stole the ball.

Then Mowden mounted an impressive drive after Fosita caught a clearance kick and made good ground, resulting in another penalty, which Dixon kicked from the 22.

More was seen of the Macclesfield centres than Mowden's, but there was always more threat than end result in the visitors' attacks and when one broke down Booysen quickly seized on the error and hacked on before gathering to score in the left corner.

That made it 21-0 with 25 minutes left, but visiting fly half Dan Naylor chipped through to score a converted try shortly afterwards.

When Fagalilo was sin-binned Macclesfield missed the penalty, which might have given them hope, and Mowden comfortably held out until Fosita scored his interception try, Dixon again converting.

In injury time Macclesfield kicked a penalty to the corner and drove over at the third attempt but the match ended on an unsavoury note because of the melee sparked by Tabua's punch.

The second successive win failed to lift Mowden any higher in the table as the top seven had broken away, but at least they are now within striking distance of a Leicester Lions side they will expect to overtake.

Result: Darlington Mowden Park 28, Macclesfield 12.