DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK were unable to make it two home wins in a row – but Danny Brown’s side had the consolation of a losing bonus-point as they suffered a narrow defeat to second-placed Blackheath at The Northern Echo Arena.

Mowden led at half-time, but a strong second-half comeback from the visitors along with a red card for the hosts saw Blackheath take maximum points.

It was Blackheath who opened the scoring after nine minutes as Joe Tarrant slotted a penalty. The remainder of the first period was then dominated by the hosts, with two tries putting them in command at the break.

The first came from Shaun McCartney, with the winger cutting a sharp line through the visiting defence to go over untouched.

Their second was scored by Matt Heaton, after a smart break from Warren Seals set up the Canadian from close range. South African Seals converted both tries to give his side a 14-3 lead at half-time.

Blackheath started the second half strongly and responded with two tries of their own to regain the lead.

Elliott Clements-Hill got the first in the corner, before the visitors were awarded a penalty try from a five-metre scrum soon after.

Seals soon levelled the scores with a well-struck penalty, before the momentum swung in favour of the visitors.

Mowden’s replacement prop, Ignas Darkintis, was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident, and Blackheath soon made the most of their numerical advantage.

Two tries in the space of ten minutes made the difference, as first Markus Burcham and then Jake Lloyd crossed to give Blackheath a try bonus point.

Tarrant converted the latter score, giving the visitors a 12-point lead heading into the final ten minutes.

Despite playing with 14 men, Mowden restored hope with five minutes left. Brandon Asher-Wood and Chris McTurk exchanged kicks, with the latter gathering to score under the posts.

The hosts had a final chance to win it close to the try line, but Blackheath defended stoutly to hold on for the win.

Mowden hooker Jordon Poole was awarded the Man of the Match honours after excelling in the loose.

Mowden’s tough run of fixtures continues on Saturday as they travel to third place Rosslyn Park.

Meanwhile, Mowden’s women’s team, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, suffered a heavy home defeat in the Tyrrells Premier 15s.

Loughborough Lightning ran out emphatic 53-14 winners over the Sharks at The Northern Echo Arena.