NORTHALLERTON first team made it seventeen wins from seventeen with a 6-13 away win at Sheffield Medicals.

North were boosted by the return to full fitness of Jamie Douglas, Lee Peake and Jacob Sankey but were also dealt a blow with the loss of Simon Manthorpe, Jeremy Deas and Iain Swall who have twelve man of the match awards between them this season.

Any preconceptions that North had of steamrolling the younger students proved to be mislaid as the the home team moved the ball about the park at every opportunity to try and keep the heavier North players constantly on the move.

The more mobile home team caused Northallerton quite a few problems in the opening period and were rewarded with a penalty after twenty minutes which they eagerly converted to take a three point lead.

As the first half wore on Northallerton came more into the game as Peake started to be influential in both the line outs and also in the loose, ruffling the home teams feathers with well timed tackles at the breakdown.

It was from Norths constant pressure that caused to Sheffield make a handling error in their own 22. From the resulting scrum, North drove the Sheffield pack back at a gallop to allow player/coach James Hopkin to touch down for an unconverted try.

This sent North in at the break 3-5 in front.

In the second half both teams seemed to tire quite quickly and made numerous handling and kicking errors.

Ten minutes into the second half Sheffield had a chance to score a try but were held up over the line by the immense strength of Phil Swall. From the resulting scrum, which North again dominated, the ball was cleared upfield.

Midway through the second half both teams exchanged penalties, Norths coming from Xander Metcalfe.

With the game finally balanced and only two points separating the teams, the game entered the last fifteen minutes balanced on a knifes edge. Thankfully North summoned up one final effort five minutes from time to create the match winning try. Metcalfe cleared the ball from his own half to well inside the home teams 22. At the ensuing lineout Peake stole another throw before launching a ten metre rolling maul.

Five yards from the line Swall peeled off the base and was too strong to be stopped and crashed over for a try in the corner. Metcalfe’s conversion drifted just wide leaving North seven points clear.

The home team had the majority of possession in the remaining few minutes but were unable to make any telling inroads into the North 22.

Final score 6-13.

Man of the match was awarded to Lee Peake who just edged out Phil Swall.

Next week Northallerton are away to Harrogate Pythons with a 2.15pm kick off.

Northallerton second team returned to winning ways with a emphatic 12-50 away win at Seaton Carew.

Norths tries came from Kris Stephenson(3), Paul James(2), Joe Greiff, Simon Lawrie and John Logan.

Although six out of the eight Northallerton tries were scored by the backs, it was the forwards who completely dominated and created the spaces for the resulting tries.

Man of the match was awarded to Stephenson for his first ever rugby hat trick after converting from football.

Next week Northallerton second team are at home to Sedgefield Saxons also with a 2.15pm kick off.