Having outplayed their hosts for the first half, it looked as though Dale had blown their 24-7 lead when they found themselves two points adrift in the 79th minute. But Jamie Guy stepped forward with a well-taken penalty to seal a slender 27-26 win.
Three tries from Dan Salomi and one from Chris Steel with two James Guy conversions had given Dale the bonus point and a substantial lead. Darlington’s only try in the first half came from Grant Connon, who also added the extras.
After the break tries from George Hedgley, Jack Allcock and a penalty try, with two Connon conversions, put the hosts ahead before Guy held his nerve to slot home his second penalty.