|match reports||rogues gallery||club stuff|
Northallerton 1stXV 36 pts vs OORUFC 1stXV 11 pts
Northallerton has been the scene of only
rare successes for ‘Ensians over the years and on this occasion the heavy,
well-drilled home pack eventually took control, despite a plucky
performance from the visitors. Fly half Will Foster made a welcome return
for Otliensians after a spell away from rugby due to family commitments
and he quickly struck up a good understanding with scrum half Rob
Lofthouse to get their backs moving.
OORUFC 2ndXV 10 pts vs Ilkley 3rdXV 7 pts
This local derby provided a very entertaining afternoon for players and spectators alike with ’Ensians just managing to come out on top. For the hosts, flankers Brett Tenniswood and Dominic Birkin provided a steady supply of lineout ball and half backs Ben Smith and Matt Tenniswood spread the ball wide at every opportunity.
However, Ilkley were always a threat and their experienced back division produced a well-worked try on 15 minutes, the conversion giving them a 7 – 0 lead. The home back row of Brett Tenniswood, Birkin and Richard Freeman was causing problems for the visiting backs. Freeman intercepted a loose pass and raced from his own 22 up to the try line where the cover managed to pounce on him. He went over the line, but the referee adjudged it to be a double movement.
However, Freeman got his reward a few minutes later when he used his pace to slice through wide out, reducing the Ilkley lead to 7 – 5 on 35 minutes. After the break, both sides put together some clever passages of play and the visitors came close on a number of occasions. On 60 minutes, home fly half Matt Tenniswood hoisted a searching kick upfield from his own 22. Centre Toby Gillatt raced after it and after a well-controlled dribble, the ball bounced kindly for him to dive over in the corner. The failed conversion left the hosts with a slender 10 – 7 advantage which they managed to hold onto.
Both sides continued to play open rugby and there were a few close calls as Ilkley applied the pressure, but good defence by centres Andy Hayward and Steve Grundy along with full back Sean Flesher kept the line clear. ‘Ensians came out on top through enterprising play and sound defence, but both sides deserve credit for their lively and spirited performances.