DARLINGTON Mowden Park welcome second placed Blackheath to the Northern Echo Arena on Saturday as they look to continue their ideal start to the calendar year.

Last week saw Mowden produce their best performance of the season to beat league leaders Old Elthamians, setting up another huge game at the Arena this weekend (3pm Kick Off).

Danny Brown’s side currently sit in 8th spot in the National One table, having taken maximum points from last week’s impressive 41-26 win. The victory over the league leaders has given the North East side renewed confidence heading into 2019, after a testing first half of the season. A host of injuries had hampered DMP’s early season form, but last weekend’s win showed that DMP can compete with the very best sides in the competition. Four tries in the opening half hour stunned the league leaders, and helped DMP to their 5th home win of the season. Two of those first half scores were scored by Garry Law, who was impressed with his side’s performance on the day: "Credit to the lads for sticking to the plan and executing everything we have been speaking about of late, which we knew would bring success against what is a very big Old Elthamians team."

Law's 21 point haul was topped up with tries from Mackenzie (2), Poole and Asher-Wood in Mowden's highest scoring performance since the opening home game of the season against Rotherham. Like the Rotherham match, the game was full of attacking endeavor with some fantastic tries scored. Law emphasised the importance of the attacking style of play to his side: "The pace and ball movement is in our DNA and something that we must strive to bring every week."

Looking ahead to their game against 2nd placed Blackheath at the Arena on Saturday, Law added: "We have obviously started 2019 the way we wanted but one of our main aims is to be a more consistent team and give ourselves the best chance in games. This coming Saturday against Blackheath is just the chance to do that where we will be fully tested again."

The reverse fixture in September saw Blackheath run out convincing winners, but Mowden will take heart from their previous home game against the same opposition back in February. Tries from Mackenzie (2), Radwan and Seals saw Mowden take maximum points in a 33-19 win over the London side. No doubt Mowden will be hoping for a similar outcome this time round.

Saturday’s game is also followed by the club’s ladies side, the DMP Sharks, taking on Loughborough Lightning in the Tyrrells Premier 15s competition at 5pm. The Sharks currently sit in 9th spot in what is the highest tier of women’s rugby in the UK. They will be looking for their 4th home win of the season, but will be met by a number of familiar faces including England internationals Katy Daley-McLean and Jo Brown, both of whom left the club in the summer.

Tickets for Saturday’s double header are available on the day priced at £10 for adults, £8 for concessions and free for U16s.