By JUST H JOHNSON
Ladies show their Inner Warrior
Northallerton first team suffered a surprising but close home defeat to Old Grovians by a score of 12-19.
Although the teams were only separated by one converted try all credit must go to the visitors for their well earned and deserved win.
Grovians opened the scoring after only ninety seconds when a missed tackle out wide allowed the visitors over the line for an easy score in the corner, which the fly half managed to convert from an acute angle.
North levelled the scores five minutes later when a rolling maul was touched down by Phil Swall and converted by Jedd Bainbridge.
Grovians then proceeded to have most of the ball and momentum for the remainder of the half. Five minutes before the break Grovians eventually wore Norths defence down to break through the centres and touchdown under the posts for a 7-14 lead at half time.
Ten minutes into the second half North got back into the game with another rolling maul, touched down this time by James Hopkin, Bainbridge's conversion unluckily struck the upright.
Grovians again went on the front foot and pressed North back into their own quarter of the field. Midway through the second half the visitors pressure paid off with North leaving a gap out wide which the Groves winger sneaked through to score a unconverted try.
In the dying minutes North had four chances to level the scores with a try five metres out. North were adjudged to have been held up over the line twice, Groves were then penalised once and on the fourth occasion, North knocked the ball on which sealed their fate.
Despite Norths growing injury list, and a certain Antipodean who went to a family ‘do’, the players promoted to the first team squad definitely put in a solid effort and can hold their heads high with the effort and commitment shown.
Special mention should be given to Doug Welsh, the Dicko lookalike, who made his first team debut at the ripe old age of forty five.
Man of the match was nearly given to the master of disaster - Dougie Mulholland but he was edged out by both Matthew Marsay and Iain Swall - neither of whom even played, before eventually being awarded to Sam Taylor with his Burt Reynolds porn tash!
Next week North hope to return to winning ways away at West Park Leeds, kick off 2.15pm.
Due to lack of players Norths second team fixture had to be cancelled.
On Sunday Northallerton Ladies held the ‘Inner Warrior’ recruitment and training event at Brompton Lodge.
Alongside 12 of Norths regular players, another 13 new ladies searching for their ‘InnerWarrior’ attended, making it a very successful afternoon all round.
The 12 of the new ladies that attended were aged between 19 and 40, and one being nearly 50 - Bettina Bell! Also, with only 4 of them ever having touched a ball(?) before, they all showed great enthusiasm and energy!
It was a great day for the growth of women's rugby at NRUFC.
Thanks again to the RFU Coach Rob Green for running the session, and Richie Young for all his advice! And also to chief organiser and leaflet hander outer - Natalie Barraclough, plus her helpers Laura Thomas (Fluff) and Emma Linthwaite (Scooter) for baking the goodies. Also thanks to Paul James and Steve Metcalfe for supplying the bubbly, which some quaffed notably more than others!!!
If any ladies missed this event but still want to give rugby a go, training is every Wednesday at 7pm at Brompton Lodge.
Again, these thoughts are purely my own and not of Northallerton RUFC.