13/14 1st XV. 1st XV 13 - 26 Cleckheaton

22nd March 2013

This was a game of “if only”s - Yes it was a game Northern could have won or at least gained a losing bonus point – extremely important at this stage of the season.

After an extremely bright start Northern were 10 points up with an excellent try from winger David Bloxsom and a conversion and penalty from the reliable Donal Collins who all afternoon kicked well, especially from hand. A play of brilliance from the Cleckheaton scrum half resulted in a try under the posts and a searing run by Cleck’s centre Piper, also scored by the posts, gave them a slender 14 – 10 lead at half time.

The second half was an unusual affair in that Northern had the ball and territory but Cleckheaton’s clinical finishing resulted in them scoring 2 more tries, one of which was converted. Northern’s efforts resulted in a sole Donal penalty. Northern fought hard and were twice denied tries when James Ellis was held up over the line – although the referee’s assessor did consider a try had been scored – oh where was the T.V.D? – then Donal Collins had the ball pulled from his grasp over the line.

Cleckheaton are worthy league champions elect and they expressed regret that on promotion they will not visit Northern again in the near future for a league fixture – they seem to enjoy our hospitality. However there is considerable enthusiasm for Cleck to visit us for a pre-season warm-up game in August.

Finally a note on the referee – Trevor Morrison’s son, Adam – who coped well in his first game at level-6 without the benefit of impartial touch judges and the aforementioned T.V.D.

On Saturday we are at our very old friends Alnwick and all support will be most welcome – we are almost assured of our continued presence in this league but another win could ensure our place.

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