DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK will attempt to build on their strong start to the National One season when they head to Hull Ionians for their opening away game tomorrow.

Mowden might have lost on the opening weekend, but head coach Garry Law was able to take plenty of positives from his side’s performance as they went down 40-37 to Richmond, who were relegated from the Championship last season.

Shaun McCartney’s second-half hat-trick looked to have established a winning position, only for Calum Torpey’s last-minute try to deprive Mowden of an opening-day victiry.

“We’re frustrated with ourselves after last Saturday,” said Mowden skipper Ollie Hodgson. “It was an excellent performance and we should have come out of the game with a win.

“There were a couple of wrong decision and mistakes that cost you against a good side like Richmond, and unfortunately that’s what happened. Discipline let us down at times, and that is a quick fix that can be made.”

While Mowden were starting the season in decent enough nick, their opponents tomorrow, Hull Ionians, were crashing to a 70-16 defeat at the hands of Birmingham Moseley that highlighted the size of the gap they are attempting to bridge following last season’s promotion from National Two North.

Mowden will attempt to inflict more damage, with Law having made two changes from last weekend’s starting XV.

Joe Duffy comes in to start at hooker in the only alteration to the pack, while Ollie Walker is preferred to Callum Mackenzie on the right wing.

“This weekend will be another physical challenge against Hull Ionians,” said Hodgson. “If we can perform like we did last Saturday but improve on last week’s downfalls, we’ll put ourselves in a good position.

“It’s Hull’s first home game of the season, and they will be fired up for what is their local derby. We have to be very excited for the challenge we will face – it is a must-win game for us if we want to be pushing on this year.”

Darlington Mowden Park: Jarvis, Walker, Frankland, Seals, McCartney, Irvine, McKirdy; Barron, Duffy, Appleby, Craggs, Montgomery, Fisher, Stokes, Hodgson.

Replacements: Cade, Darkintis, Grange, Dixon, Pepper.