NORTHALLERTON first team returned to winning ways and second spot in Yorkshire 2 with with a close fought 15-22 away win at Yarnbury.

As per last week, both sides cancelled each other out for the first twenty minutes with neither team threatening the try line.

On the half hour mark though, North gained the vital first score via some excellent ball handling from Norths backs and forwards. Scrum half Jedd Bainbridge quickly shipped the ball out from the back of a ruck to fly half Ashley Rio who then released Simon Manthorpe in space. Manthorpe seemed to turn back the clock on his advancing years to gallop down the middle of the pitch, before performing an excellent one handed off load to supporting Rob Green who scored in the corner.

Just as North seemed to be in the ascendancy, a silly, needless penalty was conceded on their own 22, which the home team fly half gratefully converted.

The remainder of the first half was punctuated with minor errors that neither team could capitalise on.

Half time 3-5 to Northallerton.

Five minutes into the second half another excellent break from flanker Green was halted fifteen yards out by a robust challenge from the Yarmbury defender. From the ensuing scramble to retrieve the ball, North were awarded a penalty which Rio dutifully dispatched.

North were now controlling the game with their well coordinated rushed defence and thus allowing the home team very little space or time to work in.

After fifteen minutes, more good forward work resulted in a well taken try from player/coach James Hopkin, converted again by Rio.

With North twelve points up and well in control, the visiting supporters were expecting a comfortable win forthcoming. However, a couple of injuries and substitutions disrupted Norths flow and allowed Yarnbury back into the game.

After sixty five minutes North switched off and allowed the home team to score a converted try, followed less than three minutes later with another unconverted try to draw level. Now it was the turn of the the home team to be in control and North to defend stoically. With Green leading from the front and both Swall brothers also combining to keep the home team out, Yarnbury began to look frustrated.

Five minutes from time a clearance up field from Rio was fumbled by the Yarnbury full back. From the ensuing scrum, North provided quick ball to reliable winger Sandy Gray who scored a try similar to last weeks, but ten yards in from the touchline. Rio added the conversion to give North a seven point lead. Despite Yarnbury’s best efforts, from the restart North managed to retain possession and run down the clock for the last five minutes for the victory.

Man of the Match was awarded to Rob Green.

Next week Northallerton first team are at home to local rivals Ripon with a 2.15pm kick off.

Before the game there will be a pre match buffet provided by match sponsors Ripon Farm Services.

Northallerton second team were due to play Wensleydale but the Dale cancelled two days before and hastily arranged trip away to Yarnbury was organised. It was agreed that North could join in a round robin competition against both Castleford and Yarnbury. Both games being of forty minute durations.

North won the first game against Castleford 19-0, with tries from Peter Skinner and Dougie Mulholland (2). Mulholland also adding two conversions.

The all out effort of the first game however proved too much as North fell to a 21-0 defeat to Yarnbury in the next game.

Next week Northallerton seconds are scheduled to be away at a Ripon with a 2.15 kick off.

Next week, Northallerton Ladies also have a chance to showcase their talents with a home game to Ripon Ladies, kick off prior to the first team game is at 12.00 midday.