By JUST H JOHNSON
but no 2nd team report.
Northallerton first team just about held on to clinch a victory at home over Yarnbury by a score of 30-26.
Sadly Max Willoughby was conspicuous by his absence this week and the touchline was a little bit quieter. Maybe it was due to the weird new access road through the housing estate, or maybe Jane read last weeks report? ?
Back to the game - it was the visitors who took the lead after only eight minutes when the referee controversially ruled Norths advantage to be over, before Yarnbury ran nearly the whole length of the pitch to score a unconverted try in the corner.
This jolted North into action who began to put pressure on the visiting team. However, Norths final passage of play let them down with minor errors.
After twenty minutes an arcing run by full back Sam Taylor past three defenders, created space for Jack Radcliffe near the touchline. Yarnbury’s 6’4” winger looked very worried and hesitant of Norths 4’4” Harry Potter lookalike Radcliffe and required help from his team mates to cope. Just as it looked like Radcliffe was about to be bundled into touch, he produced a one handed off load for Simon ‘Old’Manthorpe to level up the scores.
Five minutes later North had a straightforward penalty, twenty yards out but directly in front of the posts. North though, strangely opted for the line-out which they then proceeded to lose.
On the half hour mark North again had a penalty in a similar position, but this time opted to take the points and the lead.
Just before half time captain Jonny Frank showed immense strength and power to break through the Yarnbury back line and score under the posts. Franks should maybe have been stopped, but the Yarnbury number 12 looked a little discombobulated for some strange reason, not concussion apparently!
Alopecia Rio added the conversion to send North in at the break 15-5 in front.
Five minutes into the second half an exquisite backs move involving Rio, Frank and Manthorpe was finished off by Taylor spinning out of two tackles to score a converted try near the posts.
After fifty minutes a loose clearance kick from North was gathered by the Yarnbury full back and shipped out to his supporting backs, who ran in nearly unopposed for a simple try under the posts.
Soon after Rio added another easy penalty to give North a thirteen point lead.
After sixty five minutes a break from his own 22 by Taylor was halted just short of the try line, but OldManthorpe was quickly on hand to collect the ball and score the try under the posts.
With North now 30-12 up, it looked like the game was over and North maybe began to relax a little. Yarnbury to their credit though, upped their intensity to score two converted tries after 76 and 78 minutes to leave a tense couple minutes at the end. North held out sufficiently to the final whistle for the deserved win.
Man of the match was awarded to ageing utility player Simon Manthorpe.
Next week North travel away to local rivals Ripon knowing they need to improve on their overall performance to increase their winning momentum, kick off at 3pm.
There was apparently a second team game away at Wensleydale but AGAIN I received no information at all about it, and even I can’t make up a match report without even a scoreline!!!
PS sorry if I’ve upset multi-millionaire and all round nice guy Max ?