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Home > News > Roses rivals strengthen grip on North U20 Championship
Your News Roses rivals strengthen grip on North U20 Championship

THE Northern group of the National Under 20 RU Championship moved inexorably towards a Roses match showdown at Hull on March 20 after both Yorkshire and Lancashire won todays matches to extend their unbeaten runs to three matches.

The style of the successes maintained the pattern of previous games, with the defending champions from Yorkshire winning handsomely and the Red Rose team having to battle to the death to get the better of Cumbria at Vale of Lune.

Yorkshire conceded their first points of the champions when finished 56-5 victors over Northumberland at Ashington, the superior power of the White Rose pack giving them a crucial advantage against committed opposition.

Three tries by Middlesbrough centre Peter Homan, Hull flanker Ben Dorrington and Westoe No 8 Ben Morris, all converted by Hull fly-half Greg Lound, who also kicked a brace of penalties, gave the visitors a 27-5 interval lead, Tynedale full-back Seb Visser fuelling the home sides resolve with a try.

The second-half brought further tries from Morley hooker Tom Moody, Leeds Metro University scrum-half Mark Gemmell (2), Hull wingman William Robinson and replacement Sandal wingman Tom Hodson, with replacement fly-half Sam Watkinson (Durham University) adding two conversions.

Lancashire had to work much harder to hold off a bold challenge from Cumbria before claiming a 25-20 win.

An exchange of penalties between Carlisle fly-half Grant Connon for Cumbria and his opposite number Alex Savallis-Roebuck (Preston Grasshoppers) opened the scoring before Lancashire claimed the first try through Kirkham Grammar School hooker Josh Woods following a strong burst by his front-row colleague Stuart Hesketh (Vale of Lune).

Connon cut the deficit with his second penalty before the visitors pulled ahead, smart inter-play creating a try for Furness wingman Mattie Studt that Connon converted to put his side 13-8 head at half-time.

A try by wingman Jamie Harrison (Broughton Park), converted by replacement Kelham OHanlon (Fylde) restored Lancashires lead nine minutes into the half and when Hesketh powered over and OHanlon converted and added a penalty, the home side were looking good at 25-13.

A good individual try and conversion by fly-half Connon, however, nine minutes from time put the game back in the balance and Cumbria were left to regret one or two promising situations which slipped through their fingers.

There was no respite for stuggling Durham, who were beaten 87-3 by Cheshire at West Hartlepool. Chief beneficiary of the 15-try victory was Burnage flanker Jamie Redmond, who only joined the game as a half-time replacement, but still had enough time to cross the line four times.

National Under 20 Championship North: January 23 (all kick-offs 2.15); Lancashire 20 Cheshire 15, Durham 0 Yorkshire 72, Northumberland 35 Cumbria 20. February 6; Lancashire 24 Northumberland 3 (at Sedgley Park), Yorkshire 18 Cheshire 0 (at Halifax), Cumbria 58 Durham 0 (at Carlisle). February 20; Lancashire 25 Cumbria 20 (at Vale of Lune), Northumberland 5 Yorkshire 56 (at Ashington), Durham 3 Cheshire 87 (at West Hartlepool). March 6; Durham v Lancashire (at Billingham), Cumbria v Yorkshire (at Ambleside), Cheshire v Northumberland (at Crewe & Nantwich). March 20; Yorkshire v Lancashire (at Hull), Northumberland v Durham (at Morpeth), Cheshire v Cumbria (at New Brighton).

April 16: Semi-finals. May 14: Final at Twickenham

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