Newton Aycliffe Rugby Club had a promising pre-season game with a narrow defeat at Yorkshire division 3 outfit Northallerton.  The game saw the debut of Niall Kelly and returns to the club for Dave Gibson, Jonny Stevens, Neil Morgan, and Andrew Parkin.  Aycliffe began the match in good style with their backs showing pacing and a cutting edge.  The hosts, however, began to use their larger forwards to gain the lion’s share of the possession.  Back rows, Drew Gibson, Warren Parsonage, and Michael Welsh all put in a fine shift of work in the loose.  The Aycliffe defence was good and it was they who took the lead just before half-time with a penalty kick from Luke Tinkler.
The second half saw Aycliffe having to defend more and more against constant Northallerton pressure and Dave Gibson, Tinkler and Adam Gascoigne all put in excellent tackles, with notable contributions from Mikey Dunn and Ben Stevens as well.  Finally, with 10 minutes to play, a moment of magic from the Northallerton fly-half saw the gain-line broken and they were able to cross the whitewash for a try.  Despite a final flurry from Aycliffe, the final score remained 5 – 3.
This was a good display against a team that looked stronger than anyone that Aycliffe will face in the league in the coming season.  Aycliffe next game on 30th August sees them at home to Durham and Northumberland Division 2 side, Barnard Castle in the first round of the Durham Junior Cup.
The rugby club like to thank Whitehouse Funeral Services and S Cars for becoming the new main sponsors for the club. Also the club wish to thank The Mortgage Advice Cente for donating to the family funday barbeque that took place on Sunday. A good time was had by all!