DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK continued a fine run of recent form with a bonus-point victory over Blackheath at the Darlington Arena at the weekend.

The result sees Mowden close the gap on those above them in the National One table, and another win this weekend could see them climb as high as fourth.

A hat-trick from Harry Yates as well as a brace of tries from Obi Ene helped secure a third successive  home win, and winger Ene was pleased with his side’s performance.

He said: “The lads really dug deep, especially in the second half. We spoke before the game about not getting complacent after a good win on the road against Plymouth and by half-time those same messages were being brought up despite what we had talked about.

"But in the end, we took the five points at home after a gritty second half where we expressed ourselves more and became really dominant in defence. After the game, I think there was a sense of relief in the changing rooms that we were able to change our mentality to get the five-point win.”

Ene has had a positive impact since joining Mowden in the new year, scoring a try in his first start against Plymouth and following up with Saturday’s brace against Blackheath.

The winger is dual-registered to the club from Premiership side Sale Sharks while studying at Newcastle University, and is enjoying his time in the North-East.

He said: “⁠I’ve really enjoyed my time at the club so far, I’ve been to eight training sessions overall so am still learning a lot of the phase shape and specific calls, but the lads are really welcoming and have made it easier to focus on performing week in week out.

"I’ve really enjoyed playing in National One so far. It is very physical, but I’m enjoying how free-flowing we play as a team, which gives me more opportunities to express myself.”

Ene and his team-mates now face their second home game in as many weeks as they welcome Richmond to the Arena on Saturday.

Their opponents sit just a point ahead of them in the table, setting up another important game this weekend.

Ene said: “I’m sure Richmond will be a physical and dominant team having just come down from the Championship.

"They have some quality players that can make the difference. We’ll look to neutralise those threats throughout the week to make sure the team is as best prepped for the challenge we face next weekend.”