Luctonians 17 pts Darlington Mowden Park 6 pts
LUCTONIANS returned to winning ways with a hard-fought win over high-flying Darlington Mowden Park this afternoon (Saturday) in National Two North, writes TOM VALE.
Charlie Meredith and Anthony Marfell scored tries for Lucs, while John Morris slotted two conversions and a penalty.
Teenager Alex Rumsey gave a man-of-the-match display for the home side, who were smarting after their defeat at rivals Bromsgrove last week.
The Mortimer Park outfit made a number of changes to the team that saw forwards Alex Davidson and Paul Hulland out of the starting line-up.
The away side began the brighter but it was Lucs that opened the scoring when a piercing run from Rumsey was finished off by Meredith.
The full-back dived over in the corner before Morris stepped up to slot home the conversion.
Soon after, the opposition were awarded a penalty and Thomas Hodgson made no mistake with the kick.
Darlington continued to press and attempted a number of cross-field kicks that looked threatening.
With one ball punted to the corner and Park winger Christopher McTurk bearing down, Will Burton came to the rescue beating his opponent to the ball and snuffing out the danger.
But the Northern side then enforced a Lucs error which resulted in another Hodgson kick, leaving the game well poised at 7-6 at the break.
However, the second period saw the home side find their stride, with some smooth, flowing play from the backs.
The forwards played their part too and Marfell touched down following a powerful drive by the pack. Morris dissected the posts again with the conversion to put Lucs in the ascendancy. Opposition kicker, Hodgson, then had an opportunity to bring his side back into the game with a penalty but missed.
Darlington searched for a reply with Zylon McGaffin making a darting run late on but Lucs defended valiantly.
A late penalty from Morris with the final kick of the game sealed the victory and the points in a passionate display by Luctonians.
LUCTONIANS: Meredith, D Cheshire, Morris, Langdon, Rumsey, Burton, N Roy-Smith, Marfell, Thomas (Street 69), Watkins (Bufton 69), Jaques, C Harris, S Jones, B James (Hulland 54), E Taylor (Cheasley 78) Replacement not used: Prior.
DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK: M Connon (Hall 78), McTurk, Mitchell, Hodgson, L Johnson (Dominick 53), G Connon, McGaffin, Appleby, Miller (Sugula-Fagalilo 40), B Simpson (Miller 79), Potts, Campbell, Riley (Dixon 54), Wishnowsky, Duff (Clement 78).
Star Man: Alex Rumsey.
Referee: Marcus Caton.