After the biggest defeat of the season, Caldy host Darlington Mowden Park at Paton Field looking to put last month's run of results behind them and look to end 2018 with some good results. Having dropped from the top of the league at the start of November, they start December in 7thplace 10 points off the league lead and 12points above Plymouth Albion who currently hold the third relegation place in one of the tightest National One Campaigns for a number of years.
Despite some weary players returning from the long day trip to Old Elthamians there was thankfully no fresh injury worries going into the game against the team from the North East. Unfortunately those who were not quite fit enough to return to the First XV were unable to get action as the 2ndXV match was postponed on Saturday morning due to our opponents being unable to raise a side.
Caldy have played Darlington over a of number years as they have travelled up the league pyramid with the two games last season between the sides being epic encounters, Caldy claiming two points when they travelled to the North East in September 2017, the home side winning 32-26. The game at Paton Field was a heart-breaking defeat for the home side, losing 10-8 thanks to a penalty under the posts in overtime.
Darlington have had a tough campaign so far after finishing second to Coventry last season. They have won six and lost seven and currently find themselves In 10thfour points behind Caldy. DMP who play at the 25,000 all seater Darlington Arena, have one of the best setups from first team down outside the Premiership.
They have lost heavily in their last two games away at Ampthill and District and at home to Cambridge last weekend.
Their First XV squad feature players from across the world including Lithuanian International Prop Ignis Darkinkis who has previously played for Ealing and Coventry, Talite VaioetI is a lock who is a former Tonga international who has also played twice for the Barbarians scoring 10 points in the process.