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Your News National League 2 North review

No.8 Drew Harper scored a first-half hat-trick to help leaders Stourbridge to a seventh straight bonus-point victory. Stourbridge raced to a 25-6 interval lead thanks to Harper’s treble and a further score from wing Nigel Baker. Caldy put in a spirited performance in the second half to close the gap, and Stourbridge also had to cope with the loss of two men to the sin-bin. But Neil Mitchell’s men came through one of their toughest tests to date to win 28-13.

Stourbridge were one of five away sides to win at the weekend with second-placed Hull Ionians another side to taste success on the road. Ionians made it seven wins from seven and claimed maximum points from their trip to Huddersfield whose own record of seven defeats out of seven is in stark contrast to that of Saturday’s opponents. Huddersfield are not alone though in still searching for their first win; Stockport and Westoe have also drawn a blank.

Stockport had a golden opportunity to break their duck against Sheffield Tigers, but a penalty seven minutes from time from ice-cool fly-half Thomas Outram saw the south Yorkshire side leave Cheshire as winners by 20 points to 18. Westoe lost out at Birmingham & Solihull who celebrated their first win in four matches.

Other than the Bees, Luctonians and Hull were the only other sides to reward their home support with a win. Luctonians beat Leicester Lions 31-8, and as a result they leapfrog them in the league table.

Visits to Hull are becoming known for their drama for Otley. Having scored with the last play of the game against Hull Ionians to avoid relegation in the final fixture of the 2011/12 season, Otley had the chance to beat city rivals Hull on Saturday after being awarded a late penalty. However, this time it was not to be, as Stephen Depledge’s late effort struck an upright and Hull held on to win 32-30.

Elsewhere there were tight victories away from home for Preston – 18-13 at Dudley Kingswinford – and for Darlington Mowden Park (13-5) against Bromsgrove.

Round 7 results

Caldy 13 - 28 Stourbridge

Dudley Kingswinford 13 - 18 Preston Grasshoppers

Huddersfield 8 - 38 Hull Ionians

Hull 32 - 30 Otley

Luctonians 31 - 8 Leicester Lions

Birmingham & Solihull 21 - 8 Westoe

Bromsgrove 5 - 13 Darlington Mowden Park

Stockport 18 - 20 Sheffield Tigers

Round 8 fixtures

Birmingham & Solihull Vs. Hull

Leicester Lions Vs. Caldy

Westoe Vs. Dudley Kingswinford

Preston Grasshoppers Vs. Huddersfield

Darlington Mowden Park Vs. Luctonians

Hull Ionians Vs. Stockport

Sheffield Tigers Vs. Bromsgrove

Stourbridge Vs. Otley

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