Old Grovians sound warnings to rivals for next season

Ilkley Gazette: Aaron Magee did not let his brother Ben have all the limelight in Old Grovians' romp against Northallerton Aaron Magee did not let his brother Ben have all the limelight in Old Grovians' romp against Northallerton

Old Grovians 51, Northallerton 7 

Old Grovians added to their anticipation for next season in SSE Yorkshire Division Three as they ran amok against understrength visitors, dominating every facet at Elm Tree Farm.

Inspired by the Magee brothers and Anthony Griffin, this was Grovians' fourth successive victory and gave them a top-half finish in their first campaign at this level.

In a season where injuries have forced the club to use more then 50 players in the first XV - stretching the club to breaking point - this finish is a great credit to everyone involved.

Just seven minutes were on the clock when Ben Magee opened the scoring. Shown the outside by his opposite number, he needed no second invitation, wrong-footing his man before crossing the try line.

Within ten minutes, Old Grovians had doubled their lead. The Radigan brothers are the latest in the Woodhouse Grove production line to play for this team - tenacious and quick around the pitch - and it was Daniel who burst through the defensive line, showing power and pace before touching down for his first Old Grovians try.

Ben Magee added his second before centre Griffin eased through Northallerton's defence to score  the fourth try, ensuring a bonus point and sending the home team into the break with a 20-0 lead.

There was no let up in the second half either as winger Aaron Magee knifed his way down the right touchline before sending brother Ben away to score his hat-trick.

Any doubt about the result was removed moments later when prop John Oakes ran over tacklers before full back Ben Brown touched down in the corner - a memorable way for him to mark his 122nd appearance for the club, the most capped in Old Grovians' short history.

Northallerton avoided a shut-out thanks to a try from their tight-head prop with 25 minutes remaining but that only served to spark another scoring spree from the hosts.

Griffin exposed Northallerton's defensive frailties with a scything run, which began 25 metres from his own line and finished with him touching down under the posts after shrugging aside at least eight would-be tacklers.

Ben Magee then scored his fourth of the game before Griffin secured his hat-trick a minute before the end.

Few would have predicted Old Grovians would end the season in seventh position back in November when they'd recorded just two wins from the opening ten games.

However, their total of 19 bonus points - more than any team in this division - and eight wins from their final 12 matches perhaps tells more about the tenacity and competitive spirit in the side.

 

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