Sat 2 Dec 2017
1st XV won 26 – 22 at home to West Hartlepool. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
With both teams desperate for a win this game was hardly one to be determined by fast open play but one where the team who made least mistakes would take the spoils and so gain the points.
Northern scored 3 tries with excellent running and passing whilst West scored from 3 line out catch and drives. For the third game in a row the last 10 mins proved the most exciting! As at Dinnington, Northern trying desperately to turn things round, then last week, unable to keep out West Leeds at the death and then this week, defending 6 scrums on their line, with one man down for the final 2, to hold out and gain the points. Exciting yes but ageing!!
Northern soon went ahead with a Collins penalty after 12 minutes and it seemed just a question of time before we added to this. West, however, got back into the game when they scored a scrappy try on 35 minutes from a 5 metre line out after Northern were penalised for holding on and added a second try just before the break to lead 12-3 at half time.
The gap widened again when from another catch and drive another try was scored just into the second half though Northern may have been caught cold having just replaced 3 forwards. The changes seemed to galvanise Northern and from a line out on the West line Laurence Troke scored out wide. Then, almost immediately from the restart, Annis scored after a super break from inside the Northern half, with slick interpassing in the build up to the try.
Even with their tails up Northern allowed West to go further ahead with a penalty however, Chalky White, with his trade mark skill (i.e. a barnstorming run) from his own half, bounced a couple of West players and out-paced a couple more before being stopped inches short of the line by three West tacklers. The ball was quickly recycled and moved to Harrison Clark who scored the try which Collins improved. Northern continued to press looking for a 4 try bonus point but had to be satisfied with 2 penalties kicked by the ever reliable boot of Donal Collins to put northern 4 points clear with 10 minutes left. Then with time running out, West were given a series of 5 metre scrums that somehow Northern were able to defend and hold on for a deserved win.
Next week we travel to Huddersfield YMCA who are also languishing at the wrong end of the table and again, all support is most welcome. The team also appreciate the support they get from the Clark, Gray and Douglas families week in and week out.