Newton Aycliffe 56, Yarm 14
Newton Aycliffe welcomed Yarm to Moore Lane at the weekend looking to bounce back from their defeat against Richmond.
The pitch looked superb and the newly erected fencing which displays the Rugby Clubs Sponsors boards looked resplendent. The weather was bright and sunny with very little wind and it was a beautiful day to play rugby.
The squad selected looked strong despite being unable to call upon over ten regular first team players.
Yarm arrived at the ground with a very youthful looking squad of players many of whom gave some of Aycliffe’s veterans twenty plus years. Tommy Cooper Newton Aycliffe’s oldest ever player at well over sixty suggested that youthful exuberance could play a massive part in today’s result. Taking into consideration of Tommy’s age it is believed he was talking about the players on both sides. The sidelines were packed with many old ex players watching the match along with the player’s wives, girlfriends, children, mums and dads. It was a real family atmosphere and a joy to be a part of, #Aycliffefamily.
The match kicked off and in no time at all it appeared the youthful exuberance from the Yarm team was definitely going to play a massive part in the result. Yarm forwards drove Aycliffe back towards the home teams try line and they were eventually awarded a scrummage. Yarm hooked the ball back well and their big number eight picked up and smashed his way over the line to score. NARUFC 7-0 down within ten minutes and not looking very good at all.
Thankfully the vocal home supporters never lost faith and they were repaid with the inevitable James Thacker try which was followed quickly by Gareth Parsonage dancing over for one.
10 -7 to Aycliffe and the players began to settle down and play a more controlled game as advocated by the Club Coaches. The forwards began to regain control of the ruck area and several pick and drives saw the visitors struggling to contain them. So much so the Aycliffe big lad Jeff Hodgson crashed over from the base of a ruck to score a try James Cocks back from his sojourn in foreign lands kick the conversion to take a 17-7 lead. More good forward play from the resulting kick off saw Aycliffe’s backs running the ball from within their own half, Yarm’s defensive line quickly closed them down, a very clever kick behind them saw the ball bounce awkwardly within the Yarm 22metre areas the defensive fullback seeing the large baulk of James Thacker bearing down on him at lightening pace took his eye of the ball at the crucial moment allowing Thacker to collect the ball bulldozer the defender over and crash over the line for the final score of the half.
Half Time score 22-7
The second half appeared to be a mirror image of the first, Aycliffe forwards dominated the rucks and the mauls, the big runners carried especially well and broke tackle after tackle. Three quick tries were reward for their efforts Captain Andrew Littlefair smashed his way over the line dragging defenders with Craig Holmes pirouetted his way over from twenty metres out and after several thwarted attempts Warren Parsonage ran his maximum sprinting distance to force his way over from less than a metre out to make the score 37 -7.
Shaun Tomlinson who travels from Colchester every week to play picked up the ball from the back of a Maul to run through the tiring Yarm defence to score from 22metres out. James Thacker soon completed his hat-trick with a beautiful 40 metre run which combined deft running and brute force which left the Yarm defence in tatters, James Cocks kicked the conversion to make the score 49 -7.
Adam Gascoigne with fifteen minutes to play scored the try his hard work and skill deserved. James cocks completed Aycliffe’s scoring with another conversion 56-7.
What followed was quite bizarre Mark Sylvester and Connor Blakey who had both being on the field a few minutes got yellow carded for what could be called “professional fouls” and Aycliffe finished the game with thirteen men. Yarm took full advantage to score a consolation try which was brilliantly converted.
Next fixture is away to Richmond.