With a scheduled rest weekend for the ladies and no fixture for the men’s second XV, it fell to the men’s first XV and the U15s to provide the entertainment at the Lodge and they did it in some style, both teams running in big scores in their respective victories.
The U15s picked themselves up after a sharp learning curve against Otley in their previous outing and hosted the local Lower Dales Barbarians. Employing a lot of the lessons learned and showing real grit and determination the whole squad put in a performance to be proud of. They played the game with ambition and skill, often needing to work the ball all across the pitch to get past a dogged and tenacious Lower Dales defence. Try scorers for the day were Sam Pearce with a hat-trick, Oli Patterson with a hat-trick, Jake Fisher with a brace, Will Robinson with a try and Hayden Norton with a try also. A very entertaining game from both sides that was enjoyed by a large crowd of parents and supporters that finished with a final score of Northallerton 62 – Lower Dales 5. Many thanks to all the many volunteers from both sides that make the day happen and to the referee for officiating the game.
The men’s first XV hosted Barnsley RUFC at the Lodge in an early kick off so that everyone could tune in for the internationals. As though they were keen to get the game put to bed and into the bar, North started aggressively and strong, putting together a string of phases on the Barnsley goal line that resulted in an opening try for Rob Greene. Jedd Bainbridge kicked the conversion. It was the captain Ed Meek who claimed North’s second try, leading by example he found a small gap close to the ruck and, with a delicate inside pass from scrum half Jack Tart, went cruising over the try line to extend North’s lead. Bainbridge once again added the extras. This latest score spurred the visitors
into life and their runners came at North. The number eight for the away side made little work of barrelling through would-be-tacklers and by linking up with supporter runners he helped Barnsley to their first and second tries of the game, both converted to level the scores. The teams headed for the half time break with the scores even at fourteen a piece.
The second half began with a spell of possession for North who were looking to their set piece for dominance in the game. Having established a platform in the Barnsley 22-metre area, North worked their way towards the line with backs and forwards sharing the ball carrying responsibilities. It was second row Alex Hugill who found the try line in the end, burrowing his way over to help the hosts retake the lead. Bainbridge converted. With the game finely balanced, it was the visitors who blinked first. Despite managing to score an unconverted try to leave them trailing by two, a yellow card for ill-discipline earlier before was followed by a second yellow to the same player forcing him
to leave the field for the rest of the game. From this point on North’s fitness and home advantage began to tell with tries flowing in. Tart, Tom Peacock and Greene all got on the score sheet as the skills that have brought North to the top of the table showed in full. Barnsley refused to give up the fight though and found a path to the host’s try line in the last seconds of the game to leave a final score of Northallerton 40 – Barnsley 26. A big thank you to the referee for officiating the game, to the supporters and to all the volunteers at the club who made the game happen.
For any readers who would like to play rugby in Northallerton, the men train on Tuesday and Thursday 7pm, the ladies train Wednesday 7pm and the juniors play on Sunday 10am. All ages and abilities welcome, please contact the club on social media for more information.