YARNBURY, stripped of regulars due to injuries and unavailability, put in a spirited performance on Saturday but lost 30-26 in a tough away fixture against a Northallerton side pushing for promotion.

Centre Lee Mortimer was drafted in for injured captain James White and Oliver Cashman returned to scrum-half whilst utility Stephen Riley was on the bench with second team captain Tom Whitfield and John Dodgson.

Northallerton had a massive pack, so Yarnbury’s young pack captained by Tom Gilcrist would have their work cut out.

The start of the match was as predicted with Yarnbury defending furiously on their own line against No 8 Ian Swall charging forward and his pack members.

Yarnbury's scrum was holding firm getting under their bigger opponents and stopping the succession of rolling mauls with a solid defence.

Yarnbury opened the scoring down the left, making ground out wide through centre Josh Bell and wing Kieran Macaulay to put in supporting back row George Bowen for the opening score. Stand-off Will Marshall missed the conversion.

Northallerton equalised down the same side after 20 minutes, full-back Sam Taylor providing the extra man out wide to score an unconverted try.

But the lively stand off for the hosts, Ashley Rio, converted a penalty as the pressure in the middle of the park grew.

Hooker JP Coyne scored when he handed off the defence, Rio converting and the half ended 15-5 to the home side at the break.

Yarnbury had the slope with them in the second half, but immediately went behind through winger Sandy Gray down the left. Rio missed the conversion.

Yarnbury then worked the ball quickly to the right to get winger Graham Maycock away and his 50 metre run made it to the try line. Marshall was true with his conversion as Yarnbury cut the lead to 20-12.

The lively Rio was the general for Northallerton and took a penalty soon after to increase the home lead.

Coyne then got over close in as the defending numbers ran out and Rio converted to make the score 30-12.

Marshall made good use of ball out wide as the Yarnbury scrum and line-out got more confident as the home side pack seemed to slow down when Yarnbury dragged them from one side of the pitch to the other probing for open spaces.

The pack drove the ball well and from close in Cashman rolled back the years as the extra forward to touch down under the posts, taking over defenders with him and Marshall drop kicked the conversion as time was of the essence.

Could Yarnbury make it four tries and match the home side and take two points from a close loss?

The answer was immediate. From another attack down the slope, wing forward Bowen slipped diagonally inside and went for the posts leaving defenders trailing in his wake to score and another drop kick from Marshall closed the scores.

Northallerton were clearly rattled by the pace of events and Yarnbury kept the ball as they probed for the final score, but time ran out and the Horsforth side had to settle for the deserved two points.

Special mention goes to the Yarnbury pack for holding a much heavier eight. They were well marshalled by hooker Gilcrist and Marshall commanding the backs from fly half, but it was an outstanding team effort from a patched up squad.