1st Team - Match centre

Darlington Mowden Park
Sat 31 Mar 15:00 - RFU National - National League 3 North Full time


DMPRFC were to be presented with the National League Three (North) cup after this game, but it would have been somewhat of an anti climax, had the game been lost in front of a decent crowd at Yiewsley Drive.


Lymm’s form of late had not been good, but with some talented individuals, they would have been looking to spoil the party, had they been given the opportunity.

The first of DMPRFC’s six tries came from a Lymm scrum in midfield. The visitors dithered over possession and when the ball popped out of a ruck, Zylon McGAFFIN gathered and set off on a fast, mazy run into the heart of Lymm territory. Just when onlookers thought he had taken the ball too far, he found winger Chris McTURK who gathered the ball in his stride, setting off diagonally to the posts to touch down (5 – 0). Max CONNON was successful with an easy conversion (7 – 0).

Lymm were very competent at scrum time and throughout the game, things were pretty even in this facet of the game, however DMPRFC had superiority in the lineout and exploited this for their second try.

From a home lineout, the ball was moved up field, taken on by the strong running Tom SCHOFIELD. The ball was lost in contact initially, but later re-gathered after some strong bursts into contact from Shaun McCARTNEY and Cameron MITCHELL. The ball was whipped out by Max CONNON, finding hard working scrum half Zylon McGAFFIN who chipped ahead for Shaun McCARTNEY. The bounce of the ball was favourable to Shaun McCARTNEY, who took it comfortably in full stride, taking out two defenders fooled by the bounce and the run to the line followed (12 – 0). Max CONNON slotted the easy afters (14 – 0) for the well deserved lead.

Lymm were trying to put together some possession periods of their own and scored a good try down the tramlines to register their first points of the half (14 – 5).

Some good forward pressure on the Lymm try line brought DMPRFC ‘s final try prior to oranges, but it was the winger Chris McTURK who managed to get hold of the ball, burrowing in to score, as the female official managed to observe the score amongst a melee of players (19 – 5). This time the conversion was a lot more difficult for Max CONNON, however, it was the same result, as he dissected the posts for the afters (21 – 5).

So at oranges, the game was slipping away from Lymm and it was all a question of how DMPRFC wanted to play the next half, with the game probably already in the bag.

Changes were made by Lymm to inject something into the game.

The signs were ominous for Lymm, as from the kick off DMPRFC winger Chris McTURK scored probably one of the best individual tries ever seen at Yiewsley Drive. The kick off was secured and the ball kicked upfield by Zylon McGAFFIN, who was having a fine game. A series of kicks to and from opposition followed, until the ball was shipped out to Chris McTURK. He set off from just outside his own 22 metre line, with every player in the game in front of him. In a flash, he had chipped over four Lymm players, taking them all out of the equation as he gathered the ball. Then, faced with a lone defender, he again chipped the ball and gathered, to outsprint a final defender to touch down wide out to the delight of the appreciative crowd (26 – 5). Again a long conversion from wide out was made to look easy by Max CONNON whose accuracy was rewarded with the afters (28 – 5).

Having achieved his hat-trick with only half the game gone, it would have been understandable had Chris McTURK sat back and reflected, however this was not to be the case, as he managed to register his fourth, again provided by some great work from Zylon McGAFFIN.

From a Lymm scrum, DMPRFC defended well, forcing Lymm to again kick out of defence to the home sides dangerous runners. Full back Paul SHEPERD took a high ball and careered into contact. The ball was set up for Zylon McGAFFIN , who took the ball on for several metres, before chipping ahead for the ever present Chris McTURK to gather and score wide out (33 – 5). Again the accuracy of Max CONNON was demonstrated, as he applied the afters from a difficult angle (35 – 5) registering his fifth success.

As in the first half, Lymm were always looking to add to their tally, but always seemed second best to the rampant home team, who appeared to shift up a gear as and when required.

DMPRFC ‘s final try came from a Lymm scrum. No ground was gained and therefore a kick out of defence was the order. The ball was gathered by powerful winger Shaun McCARTNEY and taken into contact. The ball was whipped out left, then right and then back left until it found it’s way to Max CONNON, who crowned a fine kicking performance with a try of his own, as he found the gap in the visitors defence to score (40 – 5). He made sure he put the ball down in the most favourable position for himself and easily converted (42 – 5).

At this point, DMPRFC made changes to personnel and this interrupted the flow somewhat, as they failed to register any more points.

Lymm realised their opportunity to perhaps register a bonus point, scoring two more unconverted tries (42 – 15), both coming from their hard working and always dangerous full back. But it was all too little too late and the fourth try never came.

So no party poopers from Lymm as the official whistled for the end of the game and the celebrations and presentation followed.

A mention must be made to the official, a first from a league perspective for DMPRFC, as ‘Sir’ was a woman. She had a very good game, was clear with her calls and signals and was keen to let the game flow.

A big thank you to Lymm RFC players, who stayed on the field for the presentation and applauded the league winners. All credit to them.


Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other National League 3 North results

Altrincham Kersal
West Hartlepool

League table

# Team Pd Pts
1. Darlington Mowden Park 26 112
2. Rossendale 26 91
3. Chester 26 84
4. Bradford & Bingley 26 80
5. Birkenhead Park 26 69
6. West Hartlepool 26 65
7. Lymm 26 65
8. Sandal 26 59

Team sponsors


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