With three cry-offs on Friday evening and a further cry-off in the warm-up before the game it was not surprising that Northern struggled in the first half against the top of the league Cleckheaton who, given space and with quick passing, capitalised on the situation and ran in 5 tries against a Donal Collins penalty to lead 31 – 3 at half time.
In the second half Northern showed tremendous resilience and the second half score was 17 – 17.
After a series of drives by the Northern pack scrum half Sam Thorne scored and from the following kick-off full back Harry Clark sprinted through to score after quick and positive handling by Olly Holtam and Alex Clark. Both tries were converted by Donal Colins.
Although Cleckheaton replied with two converted tries Northern’s play and attitude in the second half gave the whole squad – including supporters – a positive edge for the eight-point game next Saturday against our old friends and foes from Alnwick. This is a game we must attempt to win with a bonus point.
Finally, the club is over the moon to retain the Club Mirror award for the Rugby Club of the Year, this having been awarded at a ceremony held in Manchester last week. The other nominees for this award were Bath RUFC, Manchester and Barnsley. The ceremony was attended by over 1000 representatives from licensed clubs up and down the land and was brilliantly hosted by Hazel Irvine and was a great success.