NORTHALLERTON first team finished the year by extending their winning run to fifteen, with a close and hard earned victory away at Hemsworth by a score of 20-26.

North started the game really slowly and struggled to get the journey to South Yorkshire out of their legs.

Hemsworth capitalised on Norths disarray and scored one converted try and a penalty in the first twenty minutes to put Norths unbeaten run in serious jeopardy.

Northallerton started to get back into the game thanks to the cool heads of Doug Mulhholland and Jedd Bainbridge, who combined well at 9 and 10 with quick, precise ball to clear their lines and keep Hemsworth in their own half.

After thirty minutes Iain Swall stole the opposition lineout ball to set North up on a rolling maul before Simon Manthorpe touched down for his customary try. Bainbridge’s conversion unluckily struck the upright.

Just when it looked like North were back in the game, Hemsworth backs broke through the middle of the park and just out paced the covering full back to score in the corner to take a 15-5 lead.

Just before half time North brought the scores closer when scrum half Mulholland produced an outrageous dummy from the base of a ruck, allowing him to sneak through a gap and touch down for the try. Bainbridge added the conversion to send North in at the break only three points behind despite Hemsworth having the vast majority of the play.

North took control of the second half and played rugby more like they had in the previous few weeks.

With North dominant in the forwards they kept the ball tight, drawing in defenders before feeding the ball out to the backs who also outwitted their opponents. Norths intelligent decision making combined with their well practised moves resulted in two more tries. One for Iain Swall and one for winger Sam Taylor. Bainbridge converted both to put north 15-26 ahead.

Five minutes from time the home team scored the try of the day with a mazy and jinking run by their full back, followed by a ‘grubber’ kick through which he collected and scored in the corner.

Despite Hemsworth pressing in the last few minutes for a match levelling and potentially winning try, North held strong and resolute to valiantly earn the win.

Man of the match was awarded to Jedd Bainbridge who, after a few difficult weeks seems to have refound his form and kicking abilities of earlier in the season.

Norths next game is January 6th at home to Baildon with a 2.15pm kick off.

Northallerton second team fixture at home to Hartlepool was called off by the referee one hour before kick off as the ground was still frozen and considered dangerous.

Northallerton second teams next fixture is also January 6th at home, but against Richmond with a 2.15 kick off.