Spirited opponents make North work hard for victory

3:06pm Friday 7th February 2014

NORTHALLERTON 1sts came up against a very spirited and resolute Wetherby team at home in a Yorkshire Silver Trophy fixture, but North managed to get back into winning ways with a hard-earned 29-8 victory.

Wetherby, who are a league below North, gave the home team a testing afternoon and early on were looking very dangerous on a number of occasions.

North’s nerves were steadied midway through the first half with a try for North’s Sam Hopkins, which was converted by Greg Aspin. This setback did not deter the visitors as they continued to push for a score. Wetherby got their just rewards with a penalty just before half time to leave the visitors only four points behind at the break at 7-3.

Soon after the break North were caught napping when the visitors took a quick tap penalty and recycled the the ball quickly out to their full back who scored in the corner to give Wetherby a one-point lead. Realising Wetherby could cause an upset, North upped their game as the second half wore on and started to utilise their larger forwards more.

Brian Tucker showed his cool head and accurate boot on numerous occasions, by pinning the visitors back into their 22 with a selection of cross field kicking. This paid dividends with two tries for Norths number 8 powerhouse Phil Swall and also a flop over try for 45-year-old veteran Martin Dennison. Flanker Hopkins capped a man of the match display with his second try in the dying minutes which was converted by again by Aspin.

North now play Halifax in the next round with the date to be confirmed.

This week North 1sts return to league action with an away trip to Skipton.

North 2nds entertained a very strong Wensleydale team at home and in a game that was end to end, but eventuallythey fell to a 27-41 defeat.

North’s tries came from Matt Brown, Alan Fishburn, James Logan and 17-year-old Jedd Bainbridge making his 2nd team debut. Bainbridge also converted two tries and scored one penalty. Despite this, Oliver Watts was voted North’s man of the match for his tireless performance marauding around the park putting in some impressive tackles to disrupt the opposition.

North 2nds are awaiting fixture confirmation this week.

Wensleydale also had a very useful 2nd team available at home for the fixture with North 3rds. Wetherby’s improvement over the last couple of seasons and new found strength in depth, was shown in a mostly one-way 43-5 win.

Due to injuries, North ended up with 13 players on the park but never gave up and even spent the last ten minutes camped close to the Dale’s try line. Norths only try coming from Charlie Turner.

This week North 3rds are due to play Darlington at home, 2.15pm kick off.

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