NORTHALLERTON RUFC's first team started off the New Year with another disappointing loss, this time away at Old Grovians.

North had to make four last minute changes on the day due to numerous drop outs. This was made even more difficult because of the early 12.30pm kick off.

North kicked off the first half going down the slope and were well in control in the early stages.

Despite the pitch being boggy in places, North seemed to cope with conditions and were rewarded after 15 minutes with a push over try that was touched down by Iain Swall. Jedd Bainbridge added the conversion to give North a deserved 0-7 lead.

After 20 minutes Grovians had their first attack as they broke quickly downfield for a converted try, which levelled the scores.

On the half hour mark, North had a player yellow carded and sin binned for a high tackle. This changed the dynamics of the game as the home team scored in the corner a minute later. A few minutes later while still down a man, North conceded another try to give the home team a ten-point lead.

On the stroke of half time, the Grovians prop received a red card, transferring the advantage to North. From the resulting penalty, scored by Bainbridge, North went in at half time seven points behind at 17-10, but still with a man extra for 40 minutes.

Despite having that advantage in the second half, North failed to put any proper rugby together. In fact it was the home team who occasionally looked more dangerous.

With only a few minutes left, Matthew Marsay for North managed to sneak over in the corner for a unconverted try to give a glimmer of hope. However it was too little too late as the home team easily held on for the win.

North's man of the match was Ed Meek.

On Saturday, North are at home to Thornensians with a 2.15pm kick off. This game was also due to be a memorial event for former club stalwart Barry Kempen, who died last year, but this has been postponed to a later date.

Northallerton seconds hosted Richmondshire seconds at Brompton Lodge and ran out worthy 31-5 victors.

The game was a special occasion for two father and son combos both playing together for the first time ever. Sam Davidson played the full 80 minutes alongside his son Oliver, while elder statesman James Sanderson could only manage a mere 76 minutes with his son George – he only agreed to be a sub at the last minute but came on after four minutes due to a injury.

North struggled for the first 20 minutes before gradually wearing their opposition down.

Man of the match James Hopkin broke through the opposition with the first try. Simon Warren and David Baker added another two before half time, with Hopkin adding two out of three conversions. Half time 19-0

Tom Peacock added a unconverted try in the second half before Richmond had a brief resurgence and claimed a deserved try. Doug Mulholland closed the game off with the final try being converted by Hopkin.

Next week North seconds are scheduled to play Sedgefield Saxons away.