By JUST H JOHNSON
Apologies for the short match report but I had to go to Italy for a few days as I was paler than Simon Manthorpe when he has to open his wallet!!!
Northallerton first team continued their winning start to the season with 36-18 home victory over West Park Leeds. The victory puts North four points clear at the top of Yorkshire 2.
The first half was played in very windy conditions with North going up the hill. With conditions not being conducive for Norths backs to demonstrate their flamboyancy, it was Norths forwards who dominated most of the game.
North scored three tries to two in the first half with Iain Swall(2) plus Jeremy Deas being the try scorers, and Scotch journeyman Ashley McRio converting just the one kick. At half time it was an evenly matched competition with the score at 17-10.
North pulled away in the second half thanks to tries from Sandy ‘50 Shades of’ Gray and James Hopkin, McRio again converting one of the kicks in difficult conditions.
Fifteen minutes from time Leeds came back into the game with a unconverted try and a penalty to put them eleven points behind.
North however closed the game off with a brilliant try created by Sam Taylor. Taylor blitzed past three defenders to cross the try line but then unselfishly off loaded to Iain Swall for his hat trick try. McRio with the conversion.
Man of the match was awarded to Sam Taylor for his astute defending and also his creativity that set up three of the six tries.
Next week North make the short journey to play old rivals Wetherby for the first time since the Yorkshire Silver Trophy final defeat in 2015, kick off at 3pm.
Northallerton seconds made the journey to Moortown but despite putting in a courageous display, were beaten 66-22.
Norths points came from tries by Paul James, Ollie Watts, Martin Oosthuizen and a try for prop Paul Dixon. Dixon’s try was his first try for the second team since his rugby career started in the early 1970’s. The try also earned Dixon the ‘old’ man of the match award.
Next week Norths second team are scheduled to be away at Heath.