Northallerton 1st team travelled to Baildon again short on players but high on determination, but returned defeated 16-7.
North again had to call up some second team players for the away journey, and even the maestro Trigerotti, but the stand in players combined with the regulars put in a very good all round performance against a team who are quite a few places above North in the league.
Northallerton were always in the game and never looked like a team in the bottom half of the table. Again Vice Captain Richard Lonsdale was one of North's best players and was consistently encouraging his team mates whilst continually making some big tackles. Even the normally quiet and mild mannered Lee Peake was vociferous all afternoon and showing tremendous commitment in tackle after tackle. Not to be out done North's backs were also showing their attacking and defensive abilities. The flocculent fly half Dan Luck seemed to be involved in all of North's moves. It was Luck who scored North's only try of the game following a brilliant forwards move which saw the ball go through over ten phases of play before Luck exchanged passes with Liam Lincoln to dive over the line. The try cancelled out Baildons earlier breakaway try, but with the conversion by Luck, North took the lead 7-5. North were now starting to get on top of their opponents but another silly penalty just before half time cost them dear and sent them in at the break 8-7 down.
North suffered a double blow at the start of the second half, firstly with a injury to influential Luck that was soon followed by another injury to Baz Rolfe at scrum half. With no natural replacement of fly half or scrum half North had drastically rearrange the team, putting flying winger Mark Connor to 9 and centre Marc Waldon to 10. The two subs brought on, Green and Stone are normally forwards but had to adjust quickly to the faster pace of the backs. They both coped extremely well but with North's attacking game disrupted, the home team took advantage and scored another try and a penalty as North struggled to put any cohesion together. North did nearly get a try near the end when Martin Dennison showed remarkable pace, for a man of nearly 50 years of age, shrugging off two tacklers before racing away. Dennison was just short of the try line when he off loaded to the supporting Bumble Bainbridge, who unluckily fumbled the ball and knocked on. Baildon wound down the clock and were extremely jubilant at the final whistle knowing they had been in a very close game.
Next week Northallerton 1sts again have no league fixture and resume their league campaign at home to Bramley Phoenix on the 14th April.
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