HORDEN pulled off their best win of the season and one of the results of the Durham Northumberland One programme when they beat league leaders Darlington 33-31.
The Andrew Turner-inspired colliery side beat the title favourites in a dramatic finish at Welfare Park.
However, it did not start so well for Horden, playing up the bank in the first half, when they conceded a 10th-minute unconverted try.
However, they soon levelled thanks to a family affair. Andrew Turner took a quick penalty on the away 10-metre line and made good progress before the ball was moved wide for cousin, Michael, to score in the corner.
Try number two was a back row special.
Newton Turton broke from a scrum on-halfway before releasing the supporting Dan Palmer, who off-loaded to Chris Purvis to go over for the try.
Horden were controlling most aspects of the game and wasted a good chance to make it 15-5 after creating an overlap on the wide left.
And the hosts were made to pay as Darlington scored just before half-time.
Horden conceded a penalty in front of our posts and lost Ross McGorman to the sin-bin in the process, which led to the leaders scoring a converted try.
If Horden ended the first half badly, they started the second even worse.
They kicked behind the Darlington winger who gathered the ball, but only had a narrow gap down the touchline to run along.
But he was able to break through four tackles to score in the corner to extend his side’s lead to 19-10.
An Andrew Turner penalty briefly reduced the gap, but Darlington responded with a try via a rolling maul to make it 24-13.
In previous games Horden’s heads may have dropped, but not this time.
From a scrum, Turton broke 20 metres into the away 22, where David Heckles and Andy White combined to put Michael Turner into space, who fed McGorman for a run-in at the corner,
Andrew Turner converted and then put Horden in front when he went through a hole in the Darlington defence to touch down under the posts to make it 27-24.
The title favourites stormed straight back and scored a converted try after a number of pick and drives.
Andrew Turner landed a penalty to cut the away lead to 31-30 and with five minutes to go, Horden got another penalty wide out on the 10-metre line.
Under enormous pressure, Turner nailed it to snatch the lead 33-31.
But the game was not over yet. Darlo won a penalty just outside the 22.
With the last play of the game, the away 10 kicked at goal only for the ball to drift left and hit the post. Darlington knocked the ball on when trying to claim the rebound and the referee blew for full-time.
Head coach Glenn Bowman said: “I can’t praise the lads enough for the performance they put in.”
“Each one of them put in a big shift defensively – they worked really hard for each other and hardly took a backward step.
“They stuck to the game plan and got the benefit.
“We looked dangerous with ball in hand and took the chances we created.”