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National 2 North comprehensive round-up

Last Saturday Hull entertained third placed Sedgley Park Tigers and after the visitors had the better of the first half which they led 17-5 at the break, Hull took the second half 19-10 for a final score of 27-24 to Sedge, with Hull scoring four tries to three to gain two bonus points. Hull’s try-scorers were Ali Thomson (2), Harvey Harding and Charlie Beech, his first try for the club. Simon Humberstone and Reece Dean both landed a conversion each. In his after-match presentation our President voiced the opinion that the best side lost and I think he had a good point.

Elsewhere in the division, second placed Caldy had a very good home win over Preston Grasshoppers by 49-21 after leading 28-7 at the break. Caldy ran in seven converted tries with the ‘Hoppers crossing the whitewash three times. In a mid-table clash Chester posted a bonus point win over visitors Wharfedale in a 26-14 win with Wharfe scoring two converted tries.

In a very high-scoring game at Hinckley the home side won with a last minute try to beat Huddersfield by 36-33. Both sides scored five tries and when Hudds went 33-29 ahead in the 75th minute they thought they had the game won. However, with the final move of the afternoon winger Callum Dacey scored a try which was converted to give the Midlanders the points. Loughborough Students filled their boots with an emphatic 57-11 home win over bottom side Scunthorpe scoring nine tries in the process. Three of those tries came from man-of-the-match Charlie Hudson. This result means that Scunthorpe have lost all ten of their league fixtures so far.

Sheffield Tigers entertained Otley in a Yorkshire derby at Dore Moor and in a hard=fought game won by 21-6.  On a mud-ridden pitch the Tigers earned the praise of the Otley coach who said it was the best he had seen the Tigers play for a few years. In a very close game at Stourbridge the homeside ran out winners by 13-10 and as late as the 73rd minute it was ten points each but a last minute penalty goal by replacement fly-half Chris Scott was to prove the winner for Stour.  Finally, in a battle royal at Luctonians the home side where leading by 15-12 over league leaders Fylde. Flydepulled themselves together and with a minute to play were leading 27-18 before the Lucs centre Kelly went over for a converted try to gain them a losing bonus point.

All of these results mean that there is no change in the top three spots or the bottom three places either but it is noticeable that Fylde and Caldy are breaking away from the chasing pack with third placed Sedgley Park now nine points adrift. In the nether regions only six points separate Lucs who are on 15 points and twelfth placed Huddersfield who are on 21.

This week’s fixtures throw up the usual shoe-ins and possible close games with a couple of crackers at Stourbridge and Tynedale.

Fylde v Hull sees the top side take on the 14th placed side and no doubt Fylde will be fancying their chances in this one.  However, Fylde made hard work of their narrow27-25 away win at Lucs whilst Hull were unlucky not to have beaten Sedgley Park after out-scoring them in tries. Hull have not been  an easy side to beat either at home or away this season despite their lowly postion and Fylde will know they have been in a game at full-time.

Huddersfield take on Chester at Lockwood Park in a game which sees 12th play 10th and the result could go either way. ‘Hoppers are at home to Loughborough in  a 13TH v 7TH and I think the home side will be in for a tough afternoon while the bottom two clash at Scunthorpe will probably go the way of Luctonians who will be boosted by their good display at Fylde last week.

Sedgley Park v Otley should be a home win for Sedge but as both sides have struggled to beat Hull in the last two weeks it could be close.  Fifth take on fourth when Stourbridge oppose Sheffield Tigers and I would not like to say who will emerge winners but there may not be much between the two sides at the end. Another close one is at Tynedale where Hinckley are the visitors in a 6th v 8th fixture and again, it could go either way,

Finally Wharfedale v Caldy should be very interesting as Wharfe are always hard to beat at home but it may be that Caldy have the class to win this one.

My three to watch are Stourbridge v Sheff Tigers, Tynedale v Hinckley and Huddersfield v Chester, all based on their respective league positions.

Wherever you are, enjoy your rugby.

Norman Angell.

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