By JUST H JOHNSON
Northallerton’s long unbeaten run and top spot of Yorkshire 2 fell to Wath upon Dearne away by a score of 28-14.
With North not having a second team game, they took with them a vast travelling team of supporters by coach and personal cars, which, despite the scoreline, was much appreciated by all the players.
Also, before the game Wath generously provided a buffet for visiting guests, which some enjoyed more than others - Paul ‘five pies’ James!!!
Straight from the kick off the home team showed their intentions, driving North back with pick and go’s that made ground every time all the way into Norths 22.
After five minutes a Wath penalty was kicked to touch for a lineout ten yards from the try line. With North expecting a catch and drive, the home team flanker peeled off the back of the maul early to run in virtually unopposed to take a 7-0 lead.
North then had their most dominant spell of the game with twenty minutes of possession trying unsuccessfully to break through the Wath defence. However after thirty minutes, a dropped ball on the halfway line gifted Wath another straightforward try under the posts.
This blow affected Norths confidence as they began to look nervy and edgy.
Just before half time North nearly got back into the game when Alexander Metcalfe went on one of his jinking, side stepping runs from his own half only to trip up five yards from the try line.
Half time 14-0.
During the half time break, North brought off New Zealander Martin Oosthuizen, and replacing him with Samoan Rob Green.
Five minutes into the second half North pressed the self destruct button with a loose kick up in the air which was collected by Wath, and ran back successfully for another converted try.
After fifty minutes Matthew Marsay took a quick tap penalty from twenty yards out which passed through both centres hands before being finished off in the corner by Sam Taylor and converted by non-national and non gender specific Ashley Rio.
There then followed a frantic five minutes where James ‘clubber’ Hopkins was involved with some good clearing out and energetic hassling.
Five minutes later though, the 60 year old Wath scrum half replicated Norths quick tap penalty but opted to squeeze through a gap to score under the posts.
Five minutes from time North used their world famous catch and drive technique to go over for a try for ageing veteran Simon Manthorpe - who completed his first full game of the season, Rio with the conversion.
North spent the last five minutes desperately searching for the bonus point earning try, but were met with stoic resistance as the home team held strong to emerge worthy winners.
Final score 28-14.
Norths man of the match was awarded to Phil Swall.
With the pressure of keeping the unbeaten run going now gone, North can now build a fresh start and concentrate on a game at a time.
Next week North embark on the road to Twickenham with a cup game at home to Whitley Bay, kick off 2.15pm.
Northallerton second team are awaiting fixture confirmation for next week.