Darlington Mowden Park produce big Cup upset
January 2, 2000

Darlington Mowden Park's chairman and director of rugby John Parkinson hailed the club's 23-11 Tetley's Bitter Cup fourth-round victory over Rosslyn Park as ``the greatest day in the club's history''.

Mowden Park clinched their place in the last 16 of English rugby union's premier knock-out competition with a superb display against a side three divisions above them.

Parkinson said: ``We don't care who we get in the next round. We have proved against Rosslyn Park just how good we are and we are delighted to be in the last 16.''

Mowden Park's success is all the more astonishing considering they don't have any full-time professional players with all of the squad also holding down regular employment in addition to their rugby commitments.

``They've all got full time jobs, but we compensate them for playing,'' added Parkinson.

Mowden Parks fly half and captain Kevan Oliphant was the star of the show with an 18-point haul from a try, two conversions and three penalties.

In other games Bristol predictably booked their Tetley's Bitter Cup fifth round place, but were far from impressive against last season's giant-killers Henley at the Memorial Stadium.

First half tries from wings Sean Marsden and Luke Nabaro, followed by lock Ockert Booyse's close-range effort, gave Bristol a commanding interval advantage.

But they could not build on it after the break, and it was Second Division Henley who showed greater enterprise, with number eight Dave Muckalt an outstanding broken-play runner.

Bristol boss Bob Dwyer made 14 changes from the team beaten by Premiership rivals London Irish four days ago, yet his back-up players looked woefully short of ideas, repeatedly neglecting Nabaro's searing pace out wide.

Twelve months ago Henley made headline news when they accounted for First Division Bedford 29-22 and then ended the season as Jewson League champions, clinching promotion to Premiership Two.

But they couldn't repeat that effort with Bristol eventually winning 23 - 9.

Coventry also made heavy weather of beating their opponents Bracknell from National League One in the Tetley's Bitter Cup.

They did enough to win through to the fifth round but it was an unconvincing display, eventually prevailing. 33 - 10.

Northampton had no trouble accounting for Nuneaton 118 - 3.


Birmingham/Solihull 22 New Brighton 14
Bristol 23 Henley 9
Coventry 33 Bracknell 10
Darlington M P 23 Rosslyn Park 11
London Welsh 18 Exeter 14
Northampton 118 Nuneaton 3

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