Do you like your omens? Well this wasn’t a good one as a sheet of miserable looking cloud adorned Brantingham Park before the start of this league fixture against Darlington Mowden Park, and despite the sun breaking through by half time, it only shined for the visitors, who recorded a comfortable 15 – 27 win over Ionians, scoring four tries to gain the deserved five points.
Darlington didn’t need to do anything exceptional to earn this victory against a lack lustre and uncoordinated home side; they had the direction at half back and the power in the pack to dominate possession and territory and took their chances when they occurred. Had fly half Seals kicked as well off the tee as he did from hand the margin of victory would have been even more emphatic.
The wet conditions early in the match made handling difficult and contributed to the high number of errors, but the standard barely improved when the pitch dried out.
Seals opened the scoring after five minutes when Ionians were caught offside, with the penalty a formality, 15m out and in front of the posts ensured an early 3-0 lead. The visitors then controlled play throughout the opening quarter, but Ionians pulled back to level with a penalty of their own.
They then took the lead as Chris Bell dummied his way through to score, but the hosts were hit with a sucker-punch before the break as Darlington levelled the scores at 10-10 through Simon Uzokwe.
The away outfit then scored again as Chris Auld followed a forward drive to go under the posts. Seals was becoming more influential and off his earned territory Darlington scored a third try – Ben Frankland going over this time. The bonus point try was then secured, as Adam Radwan finished well after a break created by himself for a fine five pointer, and with that open up a three score lead at 10-27.
Ionians then claimed a late consolation try through Sam Wilson, who finished the one and only free flowing move from the home side, but it was too little, too late.