NORTHALLERTON’S winning run continued with a 29-0 victory at home against bottom of the league Baildon.

North suffered two changes on the day as Jedd Bainbridge and Joe Greiff both had to call off due to man-flu which meant a call up for Paul James and Pete Skinner who both proved to be more than adequate replacements and deserve to be in contention to retain their spots next week.

Due to the festive season this was Norths first game for three weeks and the rustiness showed early on as the home team made numerous errors. For the first twenty minutes Northallerton seemed to be suffering from the post Christmas blues and over indulgence, as they for some inexplicable reason decided to attempt numerous chips and kicks through which were easily dealt with by the visitors.

After twenty minutes however, North reverted to their tried and trusted catch and drive routine which paid dividends with a try for J P Coyne which was converted by Sam Taylor.

This try settled Norths nerves and they began to play better rugby and keep Baildon on the back foot. After thirty minutes Taylor made a break out wide before being held up just short of the line, Norths supporting forwards were first on scene which then led to Iain Swall using all of his six foot five inch frame to just stretch out to touch down on the line for an unconverted try.

Just before half time Baildon got a player yellow carded for a high and dangerous tackle on young Matthew Marsay. From the ensuing penalty North made their man advantage count with a unconverted try from Simon Manthorpe to send North in at the break 17-0 up.

North started the second half in full control and camped in the visitors 22. Baildon showed great defence and courage as they repelled wave after wave of North attacks before Jeremy Deas eventually broke through for another unconverted try out wide.

Baildon then had their best spell of the game for fifteen minutes as they made an immense effort to put some points on the board and were unfortunate not to get at least a consolation try. Again Norths defensive improvement from last season was plain to see as captain Jonny Frank led by example and also organised his team very efficiently to nullify the opposition threat.

Ten minutes from time Taylor scored the try of the game and showcased his astounding turn of pace. Taylor collected the ball in his own 22 before launching on an arcing run out wide past two players and then interchanging passes with Marsay which took two more defenders out of the play. With still forty yards to go Taylor amazingly increased his speed and flew past the covering winger to touch down near the posts.

Final score 29-0, man of the match was awarded to Jeremy Deas who covered every blade of grass and made numerous interceptions and tackles.

Next week Northallerton travel away to Sheffield Medics for a 2.15pm kick off.

Northallerton second team played their first game for six weeks at home to local rivals Richmond and were closely beaten 10-15.

The game was a close and even affair played on a muddy quagmire which made both ball handling and steady footing a difficult task. The game could have gone either way before Richmond scored the winning try five minutes from time.

Norths points came from a Doug Welsh try, plus a conversion and penalty from Brian Tucker.

Next week Northallerton seconds are away at Seaton Carew.