1st XV lost 19 – 33 away to Beverley. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
Beverley, already relegated, were well supported at Driffield where they faced Northern who needed to get a win to avoid the drop.
Beverley's recent policy of playing up-and-coming speedy colts paid dividends when Northern’s lack of pace was exposed. Northern kicked off with the breeze in their favour and when the clearance kick was charged down it fell kindly in the Beverley full back's favour and in the blink of an eye, he outpaced the defence to score and Northern were 5 points down. Certainly not the start Northern wanted but by half time they had scored two tries by Donal Collins following a cheeky dummy, and Edd Cawthorn, once again leading by example. Donal Collins kicked 1 conversion but sadly missed two penalties.
The breeze had dropped for the second half and Northern starts strongly when and Dom Fawcett was illegally stopped when going over in the corner - a penalty was awarded but no yellow card or penalty try when both would have been justified!! The attack stalled and due to poor tackling the ball was turned over and Beverley were back in the game reducingthe deficit with 2 penalties. Unfortunately, Donal Collins was yellow carded and then with the man advantage, Beverley went ahead with another try. On Donal Collins’ return his long pass on the Beverley line was intercepted and this resulted in a further Beverley breakaway try. To make matters worse Beverley went further ahead with another converted try. With time running out Northern reduced their deficit with a try by Ed Kell with Collins converting however, Beverley kicked a further penalty and closed the game out.
1st XV lost 7 – 27 away to Morpeth. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
Morpeth supported by 150 past players who had just enjoyed a Past Player lunch soon went into the lead with a converted try. Morpeth always looked dangerous with ball in hand and went further ahead with a penalty and another try. The tricky wind did not help and Northern could not make much progress due to frequent handling errors and being penalised too often for not releasing the ball - the old conundrum of who is not releasing and who is hanging on. Sadly Northern on this occasion were on the wrong side of the equation. Just on half time Northern reduced their deficit with a try by Ed Kell, converted by Collins.
The confidence shown in last weeks close defeat was sadly missing and Morpeth scored 2 further tries in the second half without reply. A maximum 10 points at home to Pocklington and away to Beverley the following week is a must if we are to (fingers crossed) avert the drop.
1st XV drew 10 – 10 at home to Pocklington. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
Northern, in a game they felt they had to win and score a bonus point (4tries), maybe pressed too hard and fell between two stools. Yes Northern began strongly and could have been out of sight in the first 15 minutes when Sam Wilson put them ahead with an unconverted try. Then a good break by Ali Gray was not supported when a score looked on and a series of penalty 5 metre line outs produced only a yellow card for a Pocklington forward when a try would have been just reward. Handling errors crept in and Pocklington began to find their feet and just before half time equalised.
The second half was more evenly contested until some neat work by Harrison Clark put in Phil Kay for a try. Northern pressed for a further score but a good break by Ed Kell was not supported and Jamie Powell made a great run but just short of the line lacked support and the chance was missed. Again, in the closing minutes of the half, Pocklington scored. In the last play of the game Northern were awarded a penalty but sadly the ever reliant Donal Collins was unable to give his team the win which overall they deserved. The effort could not be criticized but the execution was just off.
If we are to avoid relegation we must win against Beverley and trust Guisborough do us a favour by beating Wheatley Hills .So please join us on the bus to the Yorkshire Wolds and support the boys to victory.
1st XV lost 24 – 26 at home to Alnwick. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
In spite of a thorough pre-match preparation Northern were caught cold when the visitors scored a converted try in the first minute. However with Ed Kell and Jamie Powell commanding at the line Northern possession was rewarded with a well worked try by Harrison Clark, converted from the touch line by Donal Collins, who also kicked a long penalty to put Northern ahead 10 - 7. Northern's aggressive tackling forced Alnwick to make errors and 2 further tries by Sam Wilson and Harrison Clark, both converted by Collins, put the home side ahead 24 - 7 at half time.
Alnwick, 3rd in the league, responded vigorously in the second half and reduced the deficit with a try. Both teams had chances but when the visitors moved their electric scum half to the wing his pace proved too much for the home defence and he scored a try. Now with their tails up Alnwick closed the gap further when, from a catch and drive, they scored a further converted try. Northern responded and when Dean Holliday was put through to score the final pass was controversially deemed forward. Although the Alnwick pack at the resulting scrum were under severe pressure they managed to get the ball away and full back James Bird thundered through the Northern defence and scored under the posts to put the visitors 2 points ahead with just 2 minutes left. A possible 31-19 lead to the home side gone in a flash. Northern never gave up but could not quite manage to score although a final drop goal attempt was narrowly missed.
A losing bonus was scant consolation for Northern’s effort, however the confidence gained and the spirit shown will help Northern for their visit to near neighbours Morpeth next Saturday - yet another must win game!!
1st XV lost 14 - 74 away to Morley. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
Yes an overwhelming defeat but the players, rather than being downbeat, are all expressing a steely determination to turn the season round in the next 4 games. Northern, showing 8 changes from the previous week, were soon a try down but with both line out scrums holding up, a try by Dom Fawcett, converted from the touch line by Donal Collins, kept the score to 21-7 at half time.
Jamie Powell reduced the arrears with an interception on half way, again improved by Collins. Sadly Northern's tackling began to fall away and Morley capitalised with outstanding handling and speed with a variety of moves and backing up to score freely. They, in the humble opinion of your correspondent, are the best side in the league and deserved the win. Finally a word of congratulations to Paddy Fisher who as Mr versatile has played in 7 different positions for the club this season and who, like the rest of the team, kept going to the final whistle.