Plymouth Albion overcame a hard-working Darlington Mowden Park in County Durham on Saturday afternoon to take their fourth win on the bounce.
Albion opened the scoring just a few minutes into the game following some immense pressure in the Mowden Park 22. Ramaz Rukhadze’s powerful pick-and-go took him over, and Tom Putt stepped up to add two more to the points tally.
The lead was nearly extended following some exceptional work from Seta Raumakita to kick up-field after a DMP attack broke down, but Putts’ chase was successfully foiled by a retreating Park defence.
The hosts applied mountainous pressure throughout the half, threatening to penetrate the 22 on multiple occasions. Staunch defending fended them off, but DMP eventually got points on the board when Josh Ree put a penalty through the posts.
Albion, however, ended the half with the flourish; Dan Collier powering over in the dying stages of the opening forty. A second successful conversion from Putt gave Ryan Lamb’s side an 11-point advantage going into the interval.
Mowden Park drew blood less than 10 minutes into the second period through a fine break from their own half, with Ree running through to score in the corner before adding the conversion.
Just over 10 minutes later, a more comfortable cushion was restored when an absolutely sublime Jack Oulton kick over the top loosened DMP’s defence, leading the captain over the line for a beautiful try.
A fine strike from the tee by Putt got Albion up to 22 points, but DMP were not out of the contest yet. A superb drive helped Charlie Smith over the line to pull one back, setting up a tense finale.
The pressure was alleviated at the end when Craig Duncan clinically pounced on a defensive effort from Darlington, running in to put the game to bed.
Darlington Mowden Park:
Alfie Barron, Carl Guest, Sam Kyle-Clay, Oscar Usher, Joe Craggs, Marcus Tiffen, Will Jones, Ollie Hodgson, Callum Pascoe, Josh Ree, Callum Mackenzie Ben Frankland, Harry Yates, Henry Hadfield, Ollie Walker
Replacements: AJ Smith, Mark Dormer, Archie Maggs, Greg Davison, Gerry Law
Ramaz Rukhadze, Harry Wilkinson, Jenson Boughton, Brad Howe, Dan Collier, Angus Hodges, Torin Clarke, Sam Daly, Jack Oulton, Phil Jones, Craig Duncan, Connor Eastgate, Archie Hill, Seta Raumakita, Tom Putt
Replacements: Gabe Mead, Dan Pullinger, Jake Bond, Jesse Lowe, Pita Ratukadreu