Ampthill 15 Darlington Mowden Park 17

A LATE penalty try gave Darlington Mowden Park their fourth consecutive win after a physical game against Ampthill.

The win over their third-placed opponents enabled Mowden to bolster their second position in the National One table, and open up a nine-point lead over Ampthill in the process.

In a game dominated by the forwards, Ampthill took the lead after eight minutes as James Pritchard slotted a simple penalty from in front of the posts.

The home side extended their lead after 25 minutes through scrum-half Kevin Barrett, who crossed smartly from five metres out. The resulting conversion drifted wide, making the lead 8-0 as the game approached half-time.

Mowden notched an important score just before the break though to close the gap. Smart handling out wide released South African winger Brandon Asher-Wood, who dotted down for his third try of the campaign. Warren Seals added the extras, making the half time score 8-7 to the hosts.

The Darlington side started the second half with the wind at their backs and had the best of the territory throughout.

Seals gave Mowden their first lead of the game after 51 minutes with a penalty, as the visitors continued to put pressure on a strong Ampthill defence.

However, despite Mowden having the majority of the territory, it was Ampthill who registered the next score. A series of penalties were kicked to the corner before a catch-and-drive produced what look to be the decisive score. The resulting maul was collapsed, with the referee awarding a penalty try to the hosts on 78 minutes.

Mowden once again had the last say, though, in similar circumstances. A penalty from the restart was kicked to the corner, and when the resulting drive was collapsed, a penalty try was awarded to hand the visitors the win.

It was the latest in a series of last-minute wins for the Darlington side, and director of rugby Danny Brown was happy with his side’s performance.

He said: “We’re delighted to secure the victory after a very tough battle. The boys grafted very hard in the second half, especially when we didn't have the ball. Best of luck to Ampthill, we look forward to next season's fixtures against them.”

Mowden will be looking to further bolster their second position when they host Fylde on Saturday in their final home game of the season.