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Home > News > Darlington Mowden Park 5 - Westoe 46
Your News Darlington Mowden Park 5 - Westoe 46

MOWDEN Park opted to play what was virtually their second team and shot themselves spectacularly in the foot.

Hit by injuries as they strive to finally clinch the runners-up spot in National Three (North) - and with it the play-off chance of promotion - you can understand them wanting to rest and protect their main men.

There can, however, be little doubt that they wholly underestimated the quality of Westoe, a division below them in North One,

For although, sadly, the Durham County Senior Cup has lost much of its prestige in recent times, a club of Mowden Parks stature will be embarrassed by crashing out of it in such an abject fashion.

The match programme acknowledged that some not so familiar faces would be in the home teams ranks but promised: Those players who have stepped into the fray today, including a mixture of experienced campaigners and exciting prospects, are all capable of producing impressive performances.

In the event, they were utterly outplayed in a game which, because only four teams now compete in the completion, was both the first round and the semi-final.

And Darlington made it a giant-killing double act by conquering Blaydon to claim the ther place in the final.

Mowden Park were given an early warning of tough times ahead when within minutes their pack was driven from a line out just inside their opponents half right to their own try line.

From that moment on the Westoe forwards were in total command and though the Darlington -based side had a strong wind behind them they spent almost the entire first half pinned back in their own territory..

They kept Gareth Nesbits men at bay for the first quarter, but there was an inevitability about it when prolific try-scoring flanker Kerry Wood was driven over from a five metre lineout.

Soon after, centre David Haswells well-judged long, looping pass found powerful winger James Fitzpatrick at full tilt and he brushed two defenders aside in a 30-metre spurt to touch down.

Beacon Electrical (NE) Ltd-sponsored Westoe immediately went further ahead when centre Johan Saaiman collected the kick-off ball, sped diagonally across field to off-load to the flying Fitzpatrick who was again unstoppable.

When hooker Nigel Douglas was driven over from a line out in the last action before the interval, the game as a contest was virtually over.

Mowden Park resumed with spirit but it was Westoe who went further ahead when on the hour a clever inter-change of passes ended with Haswell going over and then, in familiar fashion, came a line out and drive with this time replacement prop James Cookson scoring.

Home team centre Lawrence Oliver scored a consolation try before mercurial fly half Sam Rasch produced the games magic moment to cap a fine and influential personal performance

The ball bounced awkwardly loose from a scrum and yet with a deft backward flick he propelled it to Fitzpatrick who, with the defence caught leaden-footed, completed his hat-trick - Rasch then kicking his third conversion.

Fly half Martin Lithgo completed the debacle in injury time when, fed the ball from a scrum by number 8 Graeme Smith, he outran a posse of Mowden men to touch down.

*The much-depleted Seconds were annihilated 106-0 at Tynedale by a side containing a number of the first XV squad which has won promotion to National Two in a game that counted in both that Candy and Northumberland Leagues.

*The Fourths Northumberland League home game against Ryton 111 ended in agony when visiting scrum half Duncan Simpsons leg was broken in a tackle soon after half-time with his side losing 19-13.

The referee abandoned the match which had been halted as paramedics tended to him before he was dashed to hospital and league officials must now decide whether the double header contest - quickly arranged when the Thirds game at Prudhoe and Stocksfield was called off - must be replayed.

For Westoe, tries were scored by centre Peter Atherton, number 8 Graham Aldus and fly half Richard Elliott who also kicked two conversions.

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