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Home > News > Roses rivals set up divisional U20 showdown
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Your News Roses rivals set up divisional U20 showdown
07
MAR

THE Roses match at Hull RFC on the final day of the Northern group series on March 20 will decide which county goes into the Semi-finals of this season’s National Under 20 Championship on April 16 after both Yorkshire and Lancashire maintained their unbeaten records in today’s penultimate group games.

Lancashire set up the North title decider in a fortnight’s time with a 64-14 victory over Durham at Billingham.

A ten-try blitz saw all 64 for their points coming without riposte from the hosts, but the Red Rose men had to endure an early shock, when they found themselves 14 points adrift and down to 14 men within 10 minutes of proceedings getting underway.

Prop Stuart Hesketh was sin binned for overzealous use of his arm in a tackle and during his absence Durham opened the scoring through fly-half Pears, with Mellish converting.

Further Durham pressure resulted in a second try through Number 8 Douglas and it wasn’t until the 35th minute that Lancashire began their fightback, a quick tap allowing Hesketh to crash over.

A second was added via wing James Hart shortly after with a third on the stroke of half time by debutant Adam Birchall, the Lancashire backs making the most of the overlap to make it 14-19 at the interval.

A cascade of six tries in 20 minutes came in the second half as another debutant and man of the match Cameron Thompson scored before Birchall crossed for his second. Scores from Rob Conville, Josh Woods, Jamie Harrison, Alisdair Sutherland and a brace of tries from Andrew Dauncey completed the second-half rout as Lancashire exposed a tiring Durham side.

Yorkshire’s pack has been the key to their successful run this season and it was again that forward power that laid the foundation for their 43-3 win over Cumbria at Penrith.

The visitors set the tone for the game when they scored in the first minute, a powerful scrum allowing them to apply pressure on the flank and No 8 Carl Kirwan (Middlesbrough) finishing off the try. Five minutes later wingman Rob Almond (Harrogate) scored after another powerful scrum had created the platform, fly-half Greg Lound (Hull) converting.

Carlisle fly-half Grant Connon pegged Yorkshire back with a penalty, but there was no respite for the home side as Yorkshire struck again two minutes later, Kirwan collecting his second try and Lound adding the goal.

Cumbria again cut the deficit when Mark Mallinson crossed for Connon to add the conversion and though Yorkshire collected their fourth try – and Almond’s second – Connon had the last word at the end of the half when he kicked another penalty to leave the home side 24-13 adrift at the interval.

However, there was no way back for Cumbria in the second-half as Yorkshire pulled away to add three further tries through Stuart Cross (University of Manchester), Thomas Hodson (Sandal) and back-row replacement Rory Duff (Middlesbrough), Lound adding two conversions.

In the third game of the today’s championship programme, Cheshire beat Northumberland 39-20 at Crewe & Nantwich in a game that was nip and tuck before the home side finally gained the upper hand.

The sides were level at 10-10 at the interval and the score then went to 15-15, but at that point Cheshire pulled away to compete a comfortable win.

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 14 Lancashire 64 (at Billingham), Cumbria 13 Yorkshire 43 (at Ambleside), Cheshire 39 Northumberland 20 (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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