DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK recorded their ninth straight home win of the season to close the gap on league leaders Coventry.

DMP notched six tries in an impressive display, winning 42-7, while Coventry fell to Blackheath in their first defeat of the season.

The bonus point win sees the gap reduced to 14 points, with Mowden holding a game in hand and having to play the leaders twice.

Few would have expected such an emphatic scoreline after an attritional first half at The Northern Echo Arena. The game remained scoreless in the first quarter as the visitors enjoyed the lions share of possession and territory. Moseley’s strength at the set piece tested DMP’s defence to the limits but it was the hosts who drew first blood after 22 minutes.

Warren Seals found a gap and offloaded to his fellow centre Garry Law who cruised over to dot down under the posts. Seals added the extras to give the home side a 7-0 lead.

Moseley hit back soon after however, with their strength in the pack paying dividends. South African second row Brendon Snyman burrowed over, with Hollingsworth’s conversion drawing them level.

DMP wrestled back momentum soon after as Brett Connon was tackled in the air on half way.

The resulting penalty was kicked to the corner, and it was Seals once more who provided the assist, this time releasing Grant Connon for his tenth try of the season. Seals converted, but Mosley came back strongly and put DMP under pressure for the remainder of the half. Callum Mackenzie was punished, perhaps unfairly, for a bone-shuddering tackle on the Moseley 13, and Moseley threatened with a series of catch and drives close to the Mowden line. Spurred on by the home crowd on the club’s Members Day, DMP’s defence held firm in what seemed to be an important passage of play before half time.

The second half was a different story however, as Mowden came out of the blocks the better of the two sides. A smart chip over the top from Brett Connon found Seals, who once again provided the assist as Law raced over for his second try. Seals converted, giving DMP a 21-7 lead after 50 minutes.

The next 20 minutes was much more open than the first 40, but Mowden had seemingly found an answer to the Moseley catch and drive game which had proved so potent in the first period. The home side put the game to bed in style with 3 tries in the final 10 minutes. Brett Connon got the first, touching down from his own chip ahead to secure the bonus point after a long period of deliberation between the officials. Callum Mackenzie added his sides fifth soon after with a well-deserved try for the winger.

It was Brett Connon once more who had the final say, burrowing over from a tap and go to give Mowden their sixth try of the afternoon. Garry Law was awarded man of the match for his brace of tries on his birthday, and his partnership with Seals and Connon at 10,12,13 looks a dangerous one. Once again though it was the work of Mowden’s defence that was perhaps the most impressive. They have conceded just 4 tries in their last 4 home games, a stark contrast to some of the higher scoring games earlier in the season.

DMP now travel to Caldy next week as they look to maintain the pressure on league leaders Coventry, before they return to the Northern Echo Arena on Saturday 27th January to face Old Albanians.