Cambridge suffer defeat to Darlington Mowden Park
Four tries not enough for hosts at Volac Park
Two losing bonus points were little consolation for Cambridge in their 25-20 defeat to Darlington Mowden Park in National League One.
Cambridge started the game in style as Jack Green’s chip into the corner was seized upon by Matt Hema to touch down after four minutes.
Darlington responded nearly 10 minutes later as James Barnard scored in the corner after a ball was kicked over the hosts’ defence.
But in what was an open first half, Cambridge landed the next blow as from a forward-moving scrum scrum-half Stefan Liebenberg switched the play out wide to the right for Hema to get his second score.
The lead was extended when Jake McCloud’s good break led to play being recycled and when the ball was rolling free over the Darlington try-line, Albert Portsmouth won the race to ground possession for the third try.
Darlington reduced the arrears to 15-12 at half time as Simon Uzokwe barged his way over after good work hitting the line.
And the visitors had the lead three minutes into the second half as Uzokwe’s powerful run led to possession being moved to Joshua Bragman to reach out to touch down.
Bragman then landed a penalty to make it 20-15, and with five minutes remaining, a lost line-out by Cambridge led to Darlington cantering clear down their left, with Joe Craggs taking the final pass to score in the corner.
But Cambridge did grab something from the match when, in the last play of the game, possession was moved to the right for George Furbank to touch down, given them two bonus points in defeat.
Cambridge: Furbank; Hema, Portsmouth, J Ayrton, M Ayrton; Green, Liebenberg; Reeves, Griffiths, Langley, Moon, Baxter, McCloud, Rawlings, Nutley.
Replacements: Meek (Nutley, 10; McCloud, 77), Hutchinson (Portsmouth, 52), Seal (Langley, 52), Ruddock (Meek, 66), Lewis (Green, 74), Langley (Reeves, 77).
Darlington Mowden Park: Auld; Barnard, Frankland, Fitzpatrick, Radwan; Bragman, Gibbs; Appleby, Penman, Fearn, Craggs, Payne, Uzokwe, Petillo, Heaton.
Replacements: Hope (Penman, 70), Mackenzie (Uzokwe, 74), Bale (Fitzpatrick, 76), Gill (Barnard, 77), Fitzpatrick, 79).
Referee: Veryan Boscawen.