Given how well DMP played in finishing second in the league behind runaway winners, Coventry, Stortford did extremely well to keep the results in last season's encounters so close and our visitors are likely only to be even stronger this term, having declared their aim, when we visited them last season, to use their large financial war chest to launch a serious push to follow Coventry up. A seriously tough encounter is, therefore in prospect, for which Friday night's testing work out at Bedford should have been good preparation.
Attached below is info lifted with thanks from a preview of this Saturday's match, tweeted by our opponents, Darlington Mowden Park.
The games between the two sides last season were both closely contested, with just 6 points separating them across both matches. The corresponding fixture at Silver Leys finished in a nerve wracking 22-22 draw. DMP took 3 points from the game courtesy of tries from Shaun McCartney (2), Ben Frankland and Grant Connon, although the hosts almost snatched the win with a late conversion drifting narrowly wide.
Bishop's Stortford 22
Tries: Ridlington, Ball, Hankin
Conversions: Cullen (2)
Mowden Park 22
Tries: McCartney (2), Frankland, G.Connon
The reverse fixture at the Northern Echo Arena was a higher scoring affair, with a whopping 10 tries scored in total. The home side trailed 17-28 at half time before a strong second half comeback ensured maximum points. In the end it was only 2 Garry Law penalties that separated the sides in a thrilling game.
Mowden Park 41
Tries: Gibbs (2), McCartney, McTurk, G.Connon
Conversions: Law (5)
Penalties: Law (2)
Bishop's Stortford 35
Tries: Banks, Hutler, Cullen, Brownhill, Riddington
Conversions: Cullen (5)