NORTHALLERTON'S 1st and 2nd teams made the short journey to Wensleydale, and both returned with impressive and well deserved victories.

Northallerton’s first team win by a score of 20-39 ensured promotion to Yorkshire 2 and maintained their unbeaten season.

Pre match many were tipping Dale to end Norths unbeaten run and thus keep their own promotion hopes alive. North however stuck to their game plan and displayed their much improved defensive qualities.

Dale came flying out of the blocks at kick off and had North pinned in their own 22 for the first ten minutes. Thanks to some try saving tackles though, Dales only reward was a penalty from their reliable fly half after twelve minutes.

When North did get up field, the home team looked nervous as they knew the stronger North forwards were more than capable of out muscling the Dale pack.

After seventeen minutes Norths flying winger Benjamin James nearly scored in the corner but was halted ten metres short by a high tackle, North then opted for a lineout from the resulting penalty. From the ensuing lineout North used their famous catch and drive technique to allow Phil Swall to touch down for an unconverted try.

Dale responded two minutes later with a long range penalty from just inside the North half which sailed over to retake the lead.

Norths forwards then took the game by the scruff of the neck and began to dominate proceedings.

After twenty five minutes North scored a pushover try when Iain Swall placed the ball over the line for another unconverted try.

Two minutes later there was a piece of magical improvisation by Jonny Baker when, with his path looking blocked he performed a spectacular pirouette and dive to touch down. Sam Taylor took over kicking duties for Norths first conversion of the day.

Just before half time the crowd witnessed another piece of skill from Baker, when he executed a grubber kick through - twice, before Jonny Franks pressured the covering full back into a wayward pass which fell to Matthew Marsay to score an unconverted try for Norths fourth try and bonus point, half time 6-22.

Dale started the second half similar to the first, full of gusto and energy and camped in Norths 22. North again held out the ten minutes of intense pressure before composing themselves and clearing their lines up field.

After fifty five minutes Jacob Sankey got his first try of the year following another classically performed catch and drive. Taylor’s conversion drifting just wide.

Five minutes later Dale finally got their first try of the day when Jonny Franks fell for an outrageous dummy, leaving a gap in midfield for Dale to score a converted try.

On the hour mark scrum half Marsay made a break from his own half and kicked past the covering full back. Marsay then sprinted after the kick with the Dale scrum half by his side. It looked like the Dale player just won the foot race to the ball over the try line, but the referee adjudged Marsay had touched the ball down and awarded the try to North. Taylor converted from in front of the posts.

Five minutes from time North emphasised their forward superiority over a tiring and frustrated Dale pack with another pushover try for Iain Swall, again the conversion drifting just wide on a poor kicking day by Northallerton.

With the last play of the game Dale got their just reward for not giving up, with a try out wide for their winger. Dales fly half showed North how to take conversions with a kick from the touchline dissecting the posts perfectly.

Final score 20-39.

Northallerton’s man of the match was awarded to Jonny Baker.

This week Northallerton first team hope to carry on their winning ways and secure promotion as champions when they play Aireborough at home with a 3pm kick off.

Northallerton second team got back to winning ways with a close and hard fought 26-30 win, also away at Wensleydale.

Norths tries came from Dave Barker (3), Ian Dunne and Dave Baker, Brian Tucker added one conversion and one exquisite drop goal.

Man of the match was awarded to Barker.

This week Northallerton second team are scheduled to play away at Hartlepool with a 3pm kick off.