ROUNDHEGIANS @ HOME
By JUST H JOHNSON
good start to the season.
Apologies for late posting of match report - Pitchero permissions problems.
Northallerton first team started their season off in Yorkshire 2 with a marvellous 54-17 home win against a spirited Roundheagians fifteen.
Despite going 14-0 down within the first fifteen minutes, North didn’t panic but showed great tenacity and determination to slowly grind the opposition down on a hot, humid day. Norths superior fitness shone through as they blew the opposition away with five unanswered second half tries.
North started well but two early lapses in concentration caused them to concede a try after only seven minutes and another one after thirteen minutes.
However, straight from the restart, a brilliant tap back from Iain Swall allowed Jeremy Deas to break through the centres and touch down. Ashley Rio added the conversion to put North back in the game. Five minutes later and another error from North, once again gave the visitors a boost with an easy penalty in front of the posts and take a ten point lead.
After twenty five minutes North were awarded a lineout just outside the Roundhegians twenty two yard line. North then got their well worked catch and drive technique into motion and pushed the visitors maul all the way back to the try line before Phil Swall grounded the ball for the score. Rio again coolly adding the conversion.
Five minutes before half time North took the lead when Rio dummied his opposite number to create a gap in midfield to which he could squeeze into. Jonny Franks was on hand to support before eventually releasing Zander Metcalfe to score under the posts, making the conversion a formality for Rio.
North spent the last five minutes of the half resolutely defending their own try line as the visitors tried to get back into the game. On the last play of the half, Roundhegians thought they had scored only for their own linesman to commendably raise his flag for a foot in touch.
Half time 21-17.
North started the second half on the front foot with club captain Franks looking inspirational and dangerous. After ten minutes it was Franks who released Metcalfe out wide for his second try. Again Rio added the two extra points.
Five minutes later Metcalfe this time turned provider for full back Sam Taylor to score under the posts for another converted try.
On the hour mark, scrum half Matthew Marsay made another break through the rapidly tiring ‘hegians defence thus allowing Iain Swall to score in the corner. Rio added the conversion from the touchline despite a strong crosswind, which he used to bring the ball in from out wide.
Soon after, Sandy Gray was so excited/desperate to get on the scoresheet he barged Taylor out of the way while chasing a kick through so he could get to the Hall first. Unfortunately Gray just lost the foot race with the Hegians prop to the ball.
Ten minutes from time, Franks brushed off his opposite numbers attempt to tackle before galloping over the try line in the corner. This time Rio missed the conversion - his only failure of the day!
On the stroke of full time Marsay made another break and just managed to scramble under the posts for the try. With the successful conversion for Rio the referee blew for full time giving North a jubilant start to the new campaign.
Man of the match was awarded to fly half Rio not only for his precise kicking but also his all round good play and organisation.
Next week North travel away to old rivals Leodensians, who used to serve lovely samosas after the game. Hopefully as many supporters as possible will make the journey to cheer the team on.
Northallertons second team fixture had to be cancelled due to a lack of players but will hopefully have a fixture arranged at home next Saturday, if enough players and opposition can be found.
Thank you H.