THIS sixth win for the Blues was very welcome but they made hard work of it in the second half.
Having stormed into a 12-0 lead in the first five minutes with tries from Damien Penisini and Ian Murray, they then managed a give away a try as the home defence stood and watched the visitors, through Craig Lee, pull back five points.
As if to put that right they swarmed back all over Darlington with some sensational forward power winning possession for the backs to round off a great move with Ian Murray getting his second try. Anthony Birley converted for 19-5 and only 15 minutes on the clock.
New Brighton continued to dominate and through sheer for-ward pressure forced the visitors to concede two penalties slotted over by Anthony Birley to make the score 25-5.
It wasn't until the 36th minute after more sustained pressure inside the Darlington 22 that Birley found some space and sped over for a try which he converted himself, making the score 32-5.
Darlington hadn't read the script and it was they who struck first with a well struck penalty by Mark Butler, four minutes into the second half.
Suddenly with the wind now behind them the visitors seemed to come alive and attacked the Blues out wide. As a result of some poor home tackling Craig Lee raced over for his second try which Mark Butler converted for 32-15.
Another Butler penalty closed the gap to 32-18 and with 55 minutes gone Darlington were back in this game.
Suddenly Dan Naylor wrong footed the visitors' defence and scorched over for a fine try to stretch the gap to 37-18, with Birley adding three more points soon after.
From a penalty Darlington burst through the middle for Craig Lee to finish a fine move to complete his hat-trick on 63 minutes, Butler converting.
New Brighton were clearly shaken and their usually sound defence was in total disarray.
With 66 minutes gone, yet another penalty was awarded against Tom Mapp as Butler got another three points and the Blues were on the rack at 40-28.
With Mapp in the sin-bin, Darlington's Richard Snowball crashed over out wide to bring the score to 40-33.
An Anthony Birley penalty reestablished a two-score gap and he repeated the feat as the final whistle went.
The home fans watched in dis-belief as the Blues nearly managed to throw away what should have been an easy game. Any team that can score 46 points in a game has proved they have the armoury to destroy the opposition, by the same token any team who can concede 33 points must look at its defence and team commitment.
Leading so dominantly 32-5 at half time, it was there for them to build a big score and greatly improve their points differential.
That they didn't will leave the coaching team with plenty to work on in training.
Contact Wirral & Cheshire Sport on 0151 472 2588