Saturday was a unique occasion at Northern when for the first time the sons of former distinguished captains of the club played in the 1st XV, namely Derek White (son of Colin) and Ben Smallwood (son of Giles).
Old Crocs arrived late due to a bus breakdown but the daylight held to allow the crowd, many of whom had gathered to celebrate the birthday of a former excellent County referee, namely John McGillivray (who also sponsored the game), to enjoy a tense struggle. The Northern form shown throughout the previous games against Pocklington and Huddersfield YMCA deserted them at times so after establishing an early 10 – 0 lead with a try from Pat Power and conversion and a penalty from the ever reliable Donal Collins Old Crocs gathered themselves and reduced arrears when centre Jack Hammond scorched over for a try with the Northern defence opened up like the Sea of Galilee.
After half-time, with the score 10 – 7, the Northern pack asserted their superiority and forced two further penalties and just when they looked to close out the game Old Crocs struck with a second try.
Northern’s riposte was immediate when James Hamer, a very useful stand in for scrum half Sam Thorne (out for 6 weeks with a broken nose), dashed over for a try. The game was then made safe when Dom Fawcett was put clear by some excellent handling by the Northern backs to sprint over for a try – both tries being converted by Donal Collins.
Three wins on the trot have propelled Northern into the league mid-table with the long trip to Sheffield to look forward to next Saturday against the bottom side with the team in high spirits.
Alex Clark led the team by example and was deservedly awarded the “man of the match” accolade.