DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK stunned league leaders Old Elthamians as they made an ideal start to 2019 with an emphatic 41-26 win at The Northern Echo Arena.

Danny Brown’s side produced their best performance of the season to take maximum points from their opening game of the year, climbing to eighth position in the league in the process.

The home side flew out of the traps, scoring four tries in the opening half-hour to wrap up a try bonus point before half-time.

Their opening try came inside the first minute of the game, with Tongan lock Talite Vaioleti breaking clear from the ruck before finding Matt Dudman.

The scrum-half in turn found Garry Law, who dotted down under the posts, before converting his own score.

Mowden doubled their lead inside ten minutes when Jordon Poole dotted down from a driving maul, Law converting once more.

Old Elthamians looked to have hit back soon after, but James Golledge knocked on in the act of scoring.

It got worse for the visitors as Nathan Morris was sin binned for a late shoulder charge at a ruck.

Mowden extended their lead on 23 minutes when Joe Craggs charged down a Tom White clearance, before calmly finding Callum Mackenzie who raced away to score.

Law converted, before scoring his second try of the match minutes later. Second row Craggs was the creator once more, cutting a smart line through the OEs defence before finding Law on his outside shoulder for the bonus-point score.

The Scotsman converted his own score to give his side a commanding 28-point lead inside the half-hour.

Home back row George Stokes saw yellow shortly before half-time, and OEs made use of their numerical advantage to put winger George Perkins over in the corner. Fly-half White converted well from out wide, making the half time score 28-7.

The second half started as the first had finished, with the visitors scoring their second try of the match. A well-executed catch and drive saw Nathan Morris make amends for his prior sin-binning to dot down. White converted to bring his side within two scores.

The next score proved pivotal, and it was the home side who put the game to bed on 57 minutes with a candidate for try of the season. A play that started on their own five-metre line saw Mackenzie cross for his second of the game, with nine players involved in a free-flowing move.

Law kicked a penalty to extend his side’s lead to 22 points, putting the result beyond any doubt and taking his personal tally to 21 points for the game.

OEs hit back with two late tries from Jay Rudland-Thomas and Dom Lespierre to earn a four-try bonus point of their own, before Mowden had the final word with a try from Brandon Asher-Wood.

Home number eight Rory Duff was awarded Man of the Match honours after an impressive display on his first start of the campaign.

* Mowden return to action on Saturday when they host second-placed Blackheath at The Northern Echo Arena. Tiickets for the game are available on the day priced at £10 for adults, £8 for concessions and free for Under-16s.