North Ribblesdale 23 Pts Wetherby 27 Pts
Four 1st Half Tries By Wetherby Sink Ribblesdale.
Report by Andrew Mills.
FOUR tries in the first half helped Wetherby beat North Ribblesdale 27-23 on Saturday.
The visitors came out of the blocks with a try by Trotman before Ribb had even touched the ball.
In the first whirlwind quarter, Ribb did not know what hit them, their first up tackling was weak, they were beaten to the loose ball giving Kaye the space to bring on his runners and distributing the ball to an inventive backline, leading to a second try.
It was on the 20th minute when Ribb made their first meaningful attack from a run by Matt Speres, which forced a penalty for off-side converted by Mick Thwaite.
Wetherby scored their third try immediately from the kick-off, but Ribb did come back before half-time.
After a burst out of his own half by Speres, the ball was carried on by Adam Middleton and Jim Tunney, who took it into the 22 for Amari Kaup-Samuels to score on the right, converted by Thwaite.
Wetherby kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to take a 24-10 lead into the break.
The second half was better from Ribb, as they fought their way back to within four points to get a bonus point.
They were more direct and the tackling improved but Wetherby were still the better more creative side and had the luxury of a 14-point cushion, which meant they could keep the ball in the forwards.
Their organised midfield defence kept Ribb out for the first 15 minutes of the second half.
Ribb opened up the game with a stunning try. Tunney brought the ball out of the 22 handing on to Speres who made 20 metres to the halfway line.
Jonny Moore carried it on before Speres popped up and took the ball into the 22. Quick ruck ball made space for Freddie Howarth to go over for an unconverted try.
From the kick-off, Ribb drove the ball back into the Wetherby half forcing a penalty converted by Thwaite.
Ribb fumbled the kick-off conceding a penalty converted by Oates to put them two scores and nine points ahead at 27-18.
Ribb were now scenting a win, and Moore made several telling bursts up the middle, Nathan Harding took a ball wide and a cut out pass put Howarth in for his second try to make the final score 27-23.
Credit must go to Ribb for a fightback and for keeping Wetherby try-less in the second half, but their poor first half defence meant they had too much to do.