CHINNOR produced one of their most complete performances of the season to secure a vital bonus-point win over Darlington Mowden Park.
Tries from Will Harries, Jason Worrall, James Tyas, Dan Southworth and Kieran Goss helped the Thame-based side make it four home victories in a row and extend their record unbeaten run in the third tier to seven games.
It proved an attritional affair and a vital victory for Chinnor over a side they had started the day level on points with.
The Oxfordshire club remain fourth and five points behind National League 1 leaders Richmond, but they now have a four-point cushion over fifth-placed Old Elthamians.
Director of rugby Matt Williams made seven changes, four positional, from the side which beat Birmingham Moseley last weekend.
Captain Carl Kirwan, Chris Elder and former Wales international Harries were all handed starts as Chinnor went in search of a crucial victory on a cold, windy day.
Darlington took an early lead when Josh Hodge raced through a gap to cross on five minutes, Warren Seals converting.
But the hosts levelled almost immediately. Joe Dancer and Elder combined as they made up more than 20m, before a quick tap-penalty led to Callum Watson feeding Harries for a try out wide. Laurence May added the extras from the touchline to make it 7-7.
The visitors edged the opening 20 minutes and went on to lead 15-7 through Max Davies’s try and a Seals penalty.
However, Chinnor found another gear and dominated the rest of the half.
A May penalty reduced Darlington’s lead to five points, before a fine try pulled them level at 15-15 after 30 minutes.
Pete Laverick sent fellow centre Elder racing through a gap and gliding over half way, before winger Worrall outpaced Oliver Walker and crossed in the corner for an unconverted try.
The hosts kept the hammer down and had their visitors pinned inside their 22. Despite three lineouts, Chinnor were unable to cross again and opted for the three points instead, May slotting the penalty to make it 18-15.
The home side made a dream start to the second period when they made some early pressure count. A penalty had allowed May to kick for the corner and after being stopped short at a lineout, Tyas picked up and drove over, May converting, to make it 25-15.
Darlington had scored 22 tries in the last five games and were not going to go down without a fight.
The visitors hit back through scores from Rob Farrar and Walker as they moved into a two-point lead after 56 minutes, but it could have been more as Seals only converted once and missed a penalty.
Chinnor’s reaction, once again, was impressive and they controlled the final 20 minutes brilliantly.
Southworth drove across, May converting as he went over the 100-point mark, to make it 32-27 and they went on to put the game to bed.
With the bonus point in the bag, the forwards sucked in Darlington on their own try line, before May sent Goss racing over out wide with four minutes to go to put the icing on an impressive performance.
Chinnor: C Ryan, Worrall, Laverick, Elder, Harries, May, Watson, Pieterse, Selway, McNulty, Thomas, Ehizode, Dancer, Kirwan, W Ryan.
Replacements: Southworth, George, Ramshaw, Tyas, Goss.
Darlington Mowden Park: Hodge, McTurk, Dixon, Seals, Walker, Irvine, Kelemeti, Appleby, Nelson, Darkintis, Davies, Vaioleti, Farrar, Craggs, Hodgson.
Replacements: Cade, Duffy, Frankland, Asher-Wood, Mackenzie.