NORTHALLERTON'S first and second teams both travelled away to Guisborough in a double header – and both returned with close fought victories.

The first team fixture was the first round of the Yorkshire Silver Trophy against a team who are currently top of Durham/Northumberland 2 with five wins out of five. The second team fixture was a Merit League encounter again against a team having a so far successful season.

Northallerton first team started out the faster and pressed Guisborough back into their own 22 for the first ten minutes. The home team though defended well and slowly worked their way up the field and were rewarded with a penalty after 12 minutes to give them a 3-0 lead.

After 25 minutes Jeremy Deas was yellow carded for lying on the wrong side of a ruck and not rolling away.

Despite being down to 14 men, it was North who scored next following a trademark 25-yard rampaging run by James Hopkin. Hopkin bounced the defending number seven off before freeing up Jed Bainbridge to score in the corner. Bainbridge added the conversion from an acute angle to give North a 3-7 lead.

Straight from the restart North gifted Boro a try when they missed two tackles out wide allowing the home team to take a 8-7 lead.

Two minutes later the game swung again when Bainbridge converted an easy penalty in front of the posts.

Just before half time a break from Matthew Marsay followed by a spectacular off load to Ashley Rio let Hopkin in for a well deserved try. Bainbridge somehow managed to get the conversion slap-bang between the posts despite being adjacent to the sideline.

On the stroke of half time and full of confidence, Bainbridge attempted another penalty from over 40 yards out, but his effort struck the upright. Half time 8-17.

One minute into the second half and Phil Swall suffered an unfortunate injury and had to be replaced by Alex Rogers for his debut, but a few minutes later came a lengthy stoppage of more than 20 minutes while a Guisborough player was treated for a possible head/neck injury before being stretchered off. All at Northallerton wish the player a speedy recovery.

When play was restarted, the home team began to take control and were rewarded with a penalty. On the hour mark, North's Bainbridge was yellow carded for using his feet in a ruck. This time Guisborough took advantage of their extra player to run in a converted try and take a 18-17 lead.

After 67 minutes North were awarded a penalty just inside the Guisborough half. With Bainbridge still in the sin bin, Rio stepped up to convert the penalty and put North into a one point lead.

When North returned to 15 men for the last ten minutes they managed to stifle most of the home team's attacks before grinding out the win 18-20.

Man of the match was shared between James Hopkin and Dom Dalby.

Next week North resume league fixtures and travel away to Wetherby, kick off at 3pm.

The seconds only travelled with 12 men, but the home team were gracious enough to loan North a couple of players. In hindsight that may have been a error as North managed to out score the opposition by five tries to three. North's tries came from Ethan Thiert (two), Sandy Grey, Graham Currigan and Jack Tarte. Jason Bellion added one conversion. This game also had a hold up as a Guisborough player suffered a nasty cut to his knee. Final score 27-17, Thiert with the man of the match. Next week Northallerton seconds are scheduled to be away at Sedgefield.