North Midlands battled defiantly but were beaten 38-17 by Yorkshire in the National Under-20 Championship quarter-final at York’s Clifton Park ground today.
Yorkshire, last season’s runners-up, opened up a 19-0 lead by half-time but North Midlands, missing half-a-dozen forts-choice players through injury and unavailability, hit back bravely in the second half and reduced the deficit to 14 points at one stage.
Birmingham University flanker Barney Hayward began the North Midlands fightback when he crossed for an unconverted try early in the second half and although Yorkshire pulled away to 31-5 at one stage they were made to work hard for their win.
Hereford lock Gareth Jones scored his third try of this season’s Championship when he charged down an attempted clearance in the in-goal area and dived on the ball for another unconverted score.
Harper Adams University wing Henry Martin then rounded off a flowing backs move with North Midlands’ third try which Luctonians fly-half Tom Jones improved to make it 31-14 with 19 minutes remaining.
But Yorkshire put the issue beyond doubt with a further converted try which secured their place in the last four.