OLD GROVIANS AWAY
By JUST H JOHNSON
£3 to get in + no match programme
Northallerton RUFC fielded three teams for the first time in just over a year but unfortunately, only one team returned with a win.
It was the first team who just held on away at Old Grovians for a 33-26 victory, to maintain their top spot of Yorkshire 2.
Northallerton first team made the hour and half journey to Grovians which wasn't helped by nearby roadworks, but despite the extended journey, North for once flew out of the blocks from the kick off.
North missed a penalty after only two minutes, but from the restart, which was Grovians only touch of the ball for the first six minutes, North continually pressed and pressed the try line. Eventually club veteran Doug Mulholland threw one of his customary outrageous dummies to create a small gap into which he squirrelled through to score. Welsh Fly half Ashley Rio, who apparently sounds more Jamaican, added the conversion.
North continued to have the vast majority of ball and possession, and their dominance was rewarded after fifteen minutes when a break from Rio was halted twenty yards out but Zander Metcalfe was in quick support for the off load. Crazy legs Metcalfe then jigged past two Grovian defenders to score under the posts and Rio converted.
Ten minutes later it was the turn of winger Sam Taylor, who was bandaged up like an Egyptian mummy, to show his pace with a blistering run out wide to totally bamboozle his opposite number and score in the corner. Rios conversion attempt from the touchline this time striking the upright.
After half an hour North scored their fourth try of day and also their best. A flowing, interchanging move going through nine different sets of hands - even JP Coyne passed it successfully, ended with full back Matthew Marsay sidestepping his opposite number to score under the posts for another converted try.
Just before half time the home team got a slight boost with an unconverted try in the corner after a quick cross field move caught North unawares.
Half time 5-26.
Three minutes into the second half North suffered a blow when aging lock Simon Manthorpe had to go off due to a bit of gout, replaced by Rob Green. Grovians took advantage of North still rearranging their players to score a converted try under the posts.
After fifty five minutes North attempted a silly dummy scissors move in their own twenty two but forgot to take the ball with them. The Grovians centre scooped the ball up and trotted the fifteen yards in to score probably the easiest try of his career.
With North going from twenty six points in front to only seven, the home team could sense a remarkable come back win as North started to look a little nervy.
Just after the hour mark, the Grovians number 8 was yellow carded for a deliberate offside which was maybe more laziness than foul play. From the resulting penalty North opted to kick for a line out fifteen metres from the try line. North composed themselves enough to go on one of their infamous line out catch and drives. From which Coyne was accredited with touching the ball down but the whole forward line must also be given praise for the assist.
Ten minutes from time the home team scored another try through the middle while North were down to 14 men as Captain Jonny Franks was receiving treatment for a cut head. Franks was quite concerned at the time asking the physio if it would spoil his looks?!?!
North managed to keep control for the remaining minutes to grind out the win and keep their unbeaten run going.
Man of the match was awarded to Matthew Marsay for some ferocious one on one tackling, good ball handling and dangerous running.
Despite a few dodgy moments, Norths momentum keeps on going, and with 4 of today’s tries coming from the backs and only 1 by a forward, it looks like the alleged ‘ONE TRICK PONIES’ maybe now have two tricks - so perhaps will now be known as mask a pony, and you’d cheddar believe it, well I can’t see anyone who’d diss a brie.
Next week there is break for the first team but the league itinerary resumes on October 13th with Northallerton at home against West Park Leeds, kick off at 3pm.
Northallerton second team entertained Old Rishworthians at Brompton Lodge but fell to a 12-27 defeat.
Norths points came from a try from Paul James on his 40th birthday and a try from Paul Dixon who also converted his own try.
Next week Northallerton second team play Huddersfield YMCA at Brompton Lodge with a 3pm kick off.
Northallerton also fielded a 3rd team that travelled to Sedgefield for a lunch time kick off prior to a beer festival. With Norths minds (definitely Nasby’s) maybe more on the after game events they were narrowly beaten by a score of 31-41.
Norths points came from tries from Paul Dennison (2), Sam Davidson (2) plus a penalty and four conversions from Matty Wheeler. North also gave a debut game to youngster Matty Clark who is the son of ex first team flanker Nobby Clark.
Next week North hope to have another third team fixture against a opponent to be confirmed.