OTLEYS HALLOWEEN NIGHTMARE
By JUST H JOHNSON
Barra is Jesus.
Northallerton first team extended their remarkable run to 38 competitive league and cup games undefeated as they disposed of Old Otliensians at home by a score of 33-10.
North controlled most of the game, with the visitors rarely threatening the home team apart from two messy scrambled tries in the corner.
Norths first try after only five minutes, was via their worldwide renowned catch and drive from a line-out, which the Otley men had no answer to, before Phil Swall crashed over for the try out wide. The conversion attempt from the crafty Cockney Ashley Rio was just wide - his only miss of the day.
Fifteen minutes later winger Ben James suffered a slight knock and was obviously replaced by the similar looking Joe Osleton, meaning a shuffle around and putting the ageing utility player Simon Manthorpe into the backs. Osletons first touch of the ball resulted in a try with the opposition unable to halt his rampaging trundle from about twenty yards out, or maybe two? Rio added the conversion.
After twenty five minutes Otley had their first foray into the North 22 and came away with five points and also a man advantage as Norths’ Australian debutant Martin Van Der Oosterwesterhazenhoff was yellow carded for having too many piercings and tattoos.
Despite being down to fourteen men for ten minutes, North still managed to comfortably repel all of Otleys attacks as Rio continued to clear the ball upfield or into touch effectively. Half time 12-5.
The second half will mostly be remembered for three of the best individual tries seen for a while at Brompton Lodge.
Only thirty seconds into the second half Sam Taylor scored probably the try of the season so far. He collected the ball on the half way line and executed the perfect up and under, which he caught himself, sped past three defenders to score under the posts for a converted try.
Ten minutes later Alexander Metcalfe also scored a memorable try when he shimmied past two defenders before swapping passes with Manthorpe and diving over the line.
Ten minutes later Otley were awarded a controversial try in the corner as Norths players were appealing for a foot in touch before the Otley winger touched down. The referee consulted with the linesman and correctly awarded the try.
Norths third try of the half came from the newly recalled Rob Green, who’s enforced rest (dropped) seems to have rejuvenated him and rekindled his appetite. Flanker Green found himself receiving the ball close to the touchline and over thirty metres out. He somehow found a sudden burst of pace to get away from the encroaching forwards, and then ten yards from the line threw a ridiculous dummy and a side step like a well tanned Jonny Frank, to totally fool the opposition winger and full back and score under the posts for the fourth converted try.
Man of the match was awarded to Rob Green for his overall team performance despite Taylor’s fantastic solo try.
Next week North travel to second placed Wath Upon Dearne for what will be their toughest test of the season, kick off at 2.15pm. North would very much appreciate as much travelling support as possible to keep them on their unbeaten path.
A strong Northallerton second team hosted the national division 2 North team Otley Saracens, and were totally out played by a team who would be more akin to rival Norths first team.
The end result being a 68-0 whitewash for the dominant visitors.
North came nearest to scoring with a well executed drop goal from prop Paul James which sailed through the uprights, but alas the referee had already blown for an earlier infringement. Ten minutes from time, there was some concern when prop Peter Barraclough was shot by the Brompton sniper and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance. However by Sunday morning thankfully, he had risen like a modern day Jesus of Nazareth to come down and watch the ladies game!
Norths Man of the match was a close call, as winger Steph Parry had another good game on the wing, but it was eventually awarded to full back Jack Bagley, who spent most of the afternoon showcasing his defensive qualities instead of his usual attacking flair.
Next week Norths seconds are awaiting fixture confirmation which may be another tough fixture at home to Old Brodleians, kick off at 2.15pm.
Northallerton Ladies also has their second fixture in consecutive weeks with a home fixture to Rotherham Ladies.
This week however North found themselves a few players short but were loaned a couple of players by the generous visiting team.
North showed great spirit and resilience but were ground down by a bigger and faster set of players, before falling to a five tries to one defeat.
Norths player of the match was awarded to Charlotte Lancaster.
Please find attached photo of ‘nose twins’ Hoppy + Emily.