DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK picked up a losing bonus point from a 39-24 defeat at Blackheath, and have slipped to fourth position in the National One table.

Mowden were 14 points down within the opening 13 minutes, with Blackheath centre Mark Cooke opening the scoring as he strode in under the posts.

Cooke scored again shortly after, breaking clear from a scrum, and with fly-half Joe Tarrant converting both tries, Mowden were struggling from the off.

The battle for forward superiority was evenly balanced at lineout and scrummage, and Mowden claimed their first score midway through the first half as a catch-and-drive from a line-out ended with Chris Wood dotting down.

Just when Mowden were enjoying more possession, Blackheath scored in a similar fashion from a line-out catch and drive, with flanker Fred Owen touching down. Tarrant missed that conversion attempt, but added a penalty at the end of the first half to give his side a 22-5 lead at the interval.

Mowden struck the first blow of the second half, with fly-half Garry Law touching down after some good interplay between the visiting forwards and backs. Law converted his own try to launch a semblance of a fightback.

Tarrant replied with a penalty to extend the home side’s lead, but not to be outdone, Law scored his second try to drag the visitors back into the mix.

Blackheath responded with a try of their own through winger Geoff Griffiths, converted by Tarrant, and the killer blow to the visitors came in the 66th minute as the referee awarded the home side a penalty try.

Mowden had the final word though, with a consolation try bringing a bonus point. Replacement hooker Jordan Poole powered over from close range, with Law adding a final conversion.

Meanwhile, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks were forced to deal with the worst of Storm Brian as they ground out a 0-0 draw with Firwood Waterloo in Liverpool.

A howling wind made it hard for Sharks to kick themselves out of their half, with fly-half Katy McLean having to put the ball back into the forwards to run it out.

Sharks came the closet to scoring in the first half managing to put the ball through the hands, but the amount of water on the pitch and ball made it impossible to complete the final passes needed to run the tries in. Waterloo had the majority of possession, but couldn't turn it into points, with the Sharks defence time and again pushing them back.

The second half saw the rain and winds intensify, with Sharks pinning Waterloo back in their 22. However, no matter how much possession Sharks had, Waterloo managed to keep them just short of the try line.