Last-gasp kick leaves Horden with just a draw

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HORDEN lost top spot in Durham and Northumberland Division One when they were held to a 26-26 draw by Darlington at Welfare Park.

After three straight wins and a points difference of 112, Horden were hot favourites for a fourth straight victory.

But Darlington scored at the death and put over the conversion with the last kick of the game to get the draw.

Horden had the better of the early exchanges with two early Andrew Turner penalties putting them 6-0 ahead.

Darlington were off target with two penalties of their own while it needed a good scramble by full-back David Heckles to stop them from getting a try.

Horden were having no problem scoring points and Turner addded his third penalty.

The forwards were really starting to get on top and from a five-metre scrum, Horden drove them back over their line with Craig Gilmour touching down and Turner converting to make it 16-0.

With a couple of minutes to go before half-time, Darling chanced their arm in their own half and it paid off as they broke through the midfield and ended up going under the posts to make it 16-7.

Early in the second half, Darlo scored again.

From a line-out in the Horden 22, Darlington’s centre showed good strength to go over from short range after good driving play by their forwards.

Horden were now only two points up but prop Gavin Davison went over from a few metres out following good interplay between forwards and backs. Turner converted to make it 21-14.

The colliery side went further ahead when they pinched a line-out in the 22 and drove them over with Michael Thompson claiming the touchdown.

Horden had a chance to go further ahead when they created a four on two opportunity in the away 22. but the pass went to ground and the opportunity was lost.

Darlington pulled a score back when Horden knocked on and the visitors quickly moved the ball through the hands to the winger who scored in the corner.

The visitors applied late pressure and with time almost up, they managed to cross after a series of forward drives. They kicked the conversion and the ref blew for full-time.