By JUST H JOHNSON
And a dancing Swall
Northallerton ensured promotion as unbeaten champions of Yorkshire 3 with a 5-41 away win at Leeds Medics and Dentists.
Although Norths display at times was a little disjointed they still had enough to run out comfortable winners against a Medics team who were struggling for players and had the bare fifteen available with no replacements. North however had a nearly fully fit squad plus a plethora of available replacements. At the final count North had 7 props in the squad, 8 if you include Joe Greiff.
The Students defended well for long periods of the game and tackled well, often taking Norths larger runners by the ankles to negate Norths physicality.
North broke the deadlock after twelve minutes when Iain Swall found himself unopposed at a lineout and trundled over the line. The conversion by Sam Taylor was scuffed well wide.
Swall had a chance to add another soon after when he brushed off three would be tacklers to get over the line, however he then proceeded to fumble the ball like Edward Scissorhands.
Five minutes later Taylor made up for his poor kick, with an amazing turn of speed out - which was similar to when someone says “Dicko it’s your round” and Taylor went from 0 to 60 in two seconds to beat three defenders and score what would of been the try of the day on any other occasion. Taylor added the conversion despite being slightly out of breathe.
The Students came back into the game five minutes later when North were penalised for pushing too early in the scrum, but big Joe Osleton said he only leaned on the little bloke! Medics then took a quick tap penalty to catch North on the back foot and unorganised to score an unconverted try in the corner.
Just before half time good work from Lee Peake, who took a break from getting a yellow card this week, released Taylor out wide to score another try in the corner, again the conversion was well short.
Half time 5-17
Five minutes into the second half Peake suffered a nasty gash to the head - but he’s been quite used to that over the years. He returned to the field of play when one of the students, obviously a dentist had bandages his head up.
Ten minutes into the second half Medics were reduced to fourteen men when they had a player sin-binned for a high and dangerous tackle on Taylor. From the resulting scrum, fly half Alexander Metcalfe grubber kicked through which Jonny Frank chased up and touched down for the fourth and bonus point earning try. Taylor adding the conversion.
Five minutes later a quick and precise cross field move from one wing to the other ended with prop Joe Greiff scoring an unconverted try in the corner.
Midway through the second half Metcalfe eclipsed Taylor’s earlier try with a piece of his own magic. Starting well inside his own half Metcalfe set off on a jinky, mazey run with some amazing side steps to go past countless players and touch down out wide, Taylor’s conversion drifting just wide.
The last play of the game ended with club captain Jonny Frank squeezing through a gap in midfield to touch down under the posts and Taylor adding the conversion.
Final score 5-41.
Man of the match was awarded to Lee Peake who played well throughout despite maybe having his mind on his impending marriage to his fiancée.
Northallerton have one league game left to play away at Harrogate Pythons, but there is a high possibility the game will be cancelled as the result will make no difference to either teams league position.
So Northallertons first team will finish the league with a record of played 25, with 24 wins and 1 draw.
Norths next game is away to Wensleydale in the semi final of the Yorkshire Trophy on Wednesday 2nd May, kick off at 7.45pm. Let’s get as many supporters as possible there to cheer on Norths lads towards what will hopefully be a historic and famous double.
Northallerton second team travelled away to Redcar but returned on the wrong end of a 57-26 scoreline.
North held their own for the first half and went in at half time level 26-26 thanks to tries from Gareth Essex, Dave Barker, Toby Sadler and Chris Anderson. Tim Rennison adding three conversions.
However Redcar made quite a few changes at the break and upped their game in the second half, scoring half a dozen more tries as North tired.
Next week Northallerton seconds don’t have a fixture but their is a possibility of a 3rd/veterans game which is to be confirmed.