Old Elthamians continued their impressive start to the season with a third successive victory and in doing so ended Darlington’s own unbeaten record.

A superb defensive performance laid the foundations for this hard fought win as Elthamians harried and harassed the Darlington strike runners to distraction all afternoon.

The Old Boys never looked back after opening up a 10-0 lead after only 15 minutes thanks to an Ollie Claxton try after a lacerating break from Tom White who added the conversion and a penalty.

But DMP hit back with two tries in the space of three minutes - the first a penalty try which resulted in a yellow card for OEs full-back Ben Howard, the second a 40-metre sprint down the left touchline by winger Ollie Walker.

But to their credit, OEs responded immediately from the restart with Dom Lespierre touching down after great work by lock Dom McGeekie who won the ball in the air and then sent a wonderful popped pass to the flying winger. 

And in a frenetic final 10 minutes of the first half the home side opened up a 24-12 lead after Howard caught the Darlington defence napping and raced away from the blindside of a ruck before stepping inside the final tackler and running under the posts.

Darlington made a strong start to the second period but could find no way through the wall of blue and gold shirts and only had a Warren Seals penalty to show for their efforts.

Elthamians grabbed the decisive score on 67 minutes when White pounced on a loose ball in the Darlington 22 and won the race to his own kick. There was still time for DMP to grab a consolation try when replacement Cameron Kelemeti jinked his way over from close range on 77 minutes.

Old Elthamians: Howard, Lespierre, A Brown, Moffat, Hotston, White, Claxton, L Brown, Morris, Scutt, McGeekie, Preocanin, Ledger, Barton, King.

Replacements: Rogers, Rudland-Thomas, Messum, Parker, Surman.

Darlington Mowden Park: Georgiou, Hall, Hop, Frankland, Walker, Seals, Bravo, Grant,Appleby, Darkintis, Brady, Vaioletti, Duffy, Stokes Craggs.

Replacements: Harvey, Law, Asher-Wood, McKenzie, Nordli-Kelemeti.