Boars overawed and overwhelmed at Darlington's 25,000 seater stadium

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Big stage: Boars skipperJon Critchlow leads his team out at the 25,000 seater stadium. Picture: Pete Jepson. Big stage: Boars skipperJon Critchlow leads his team out at the 25,000 seater stadium. Picture: Pete Jepson.

Darlington Mowden Park 62, Bromsgrove 7

BROMSGROVE were blown away in the North East as Darlington Mowden Park marked the unveiling of their 25,000 seater stadium on Saturday with a handsome victory.

Whether it was the sense of occasion at Darlington’s new home that overawed Bromsgrove but the 62-7 scoreline was in stark contrast to the fine and complete performance at Stourbridge two weeks earlier.

Local media coverage had been high in the run up to the game which saw the inaugural match at Darlington FC’s former massive stadium The Northern Echo Arena.

While the ground was far from full and many wondered why they needed such a place given their average attendance this season is a meagre 418, but a bumper crowd, swelled by local dignataries, three times that size turned out to watch the game.

Bromsgrove were on the back foot from the outset with a try by winger Lewis Johnson inside two minutes.

This led to a flood of converted tries giving the home side an unimaginable 28-0 lead in less than 20 minutes.

Bromsgrove were stunned but unbowed.

After the early onslaught the away side fought back and stifled the home team’s speedy backs of any possession then set up camp on Darlington’s try line but their renowned defence led to a Bromsgrove error and the ball was cleared.

The visitors rallied and reset the forwards’ driving maul and progressively got back within striking distance with Paul Norris going over to score a try and Jon Critchlow converting to see them trailing 28-7 at the break.

The second half began as the first one ended and it was crucial that Bromsgrove get another score early on but the home side had other ideas.

Seven minutes in Darlington turned over the ball - one of many turnovers and handling errors - to let fly half Grant Connon sprint in for a try under the posts.

The opened the floodgates and an impressive Darlington side recorded a rout as they out paced Bromsgrove’s defence.

The Boars return home to lick their wounds and prepare for the re-arranged fixture against rivals Luctonians on Saturday (3pm ko).

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