Mowden return to home surrounds against Caldy

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Darlington Mowden Park host second-placed Caldy at the Darlington Arena in National One tomorrow afternoon
Darlington Mowden Park host second-placed Caldy at the Darlington Arena in National One tomorrow afternoon

DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK return to home soil tomorrow afternoon for the first time in more than six weeks as they take on National One promotion hopefuls Caldy at the Darlington Arena.

After a series of postponed fixtures due to frozen pitches, Mowden will finally have a chance to extend their impressive home form following a big home win over Cinderford at the start of December.

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Their opposition this weekend will provide a stern test however, with Caldy sitting in second place in the National One table, just nine points behind league leaders Rosslyn Park.

The North-West side have enjoyed their best campaign in the league to date, losing just three times all season. However, home supporters will be encouraged by their club's previous record against Caldy, with Mowden having won nine of the previous 13 National League games between the two sides.

Asked about the importance of this weekend’s game, Mowden director of rugby Garry Law said: "The team are very much looking forward to playing back at the Arena.

"It feels like an age since Cinderford visited. The attitudes of the players has been spot on and confidence is still very much there, and everyone is very eager to start climbing the table.

"Naturally, at this time of the season, we have picked up a few niggling injuries. These shouldn't see a long wait for their returns. There are some new faces within the starting team who have been champing at the bit for their chance to impress, and hopefully we’ll see that on Saturday.”

Law has made three changes to the side that started in last weekend’s defeat against Rosslyn Park.

The only change in the pack sees Dave Fisher return to start alongside Max Davies in the second row. Joe Craggs shifts to the back row, joining Freddie Lockwood and Ollie Hodgson.

The front row remains unchanged, with Alfie Barron, George Shannon and Ralph Appleby all retaining their places in the pack.

Tom Broadhead comes in to start at scrum-half in the absence of the injured Euan McKirdy, with Warren Seals continuing at fly-half.

Liam Checksfield joins Ben Frankland in the centres, while Brandon Asher-Wood starts on the wing. Callum Mackenzie and Chris McTurk round off the back three.

Tomorrow's game will see Mowden raise money for the Tonga relief fund following the devastating tsunami that hit the country earlier this month.

Tickets to the game are available on the day priced at £12 for adults, £8 for club members and free for Under-16s.