North Ribb U14s v Keighley/Bees U14s
A satisfactory win with plenty to work on
On an overcast but dry day, North Ribb. took on a combined Keighley and Bradford Bees team, Jack Walker receiving the Keighley kick off. Upon the tackle, Ribb. won the ruck, and span the ball out for the first pile driving run of the match by the returning captain, Adam Dunwell. Second phase ball won, the move continued down the backs, a lineout to Keighley resulting from a foot in touch by Ribb. The Keighley lineout was not straight, scrum to Ribb. Keighley surprised with a very strong push in the scrum but despite going backwards the Ribb. pack channelled the ball through to Ollie Drew, and Will Garnett was able to spin the ball out to Freddie Spensley, and on to Adam. Failure to roll away at the breakdown gave a first penalty to Keighley who ran it, breaking a couple of hesitant Ribb. tackles, Adam eventually hauling down the Keighley runner. Freddie then kicked to touch but going out on the full (by just a few cm) brought the lineout back to just outside the Ribb. 22. This was becoming a sustained period of Keighley pressure, but the mobility of the Ribb. pack ensured there was plenty of blue to smother any real danger. An Adam to Ollie breakaway relieved some of the pressure, and when Joey Pratt received the ball from the ruck a trademark surging run gained Ribb. 30m before passing to Leo Walkden who jinked, but was eventually stopped 10m short. WillG darted with the ball and when he was stopped Harris Dinsdale took it gliding over the line in the left corner for the first try (unconverted) on 9 minutes. 5-0 Ribb.
The Keighley restart was picked up from the floor by Leo who evaded 4 tackles before being bundled into touch on the half way line. Keighley won the lineout and span down their back line only to meet Harry Mathew, Harris, Will Clay, and Jack who had drifted across as quickly as the Keighley backs had been able to pass the ball. Harris looked sharp in stealing an unguarded ball from the ruck and Ollie made a good break only for the ball to George to be just beyond his reach. A couple of unproductive phases of ball from Keighley were eventually called back for the original offence (knock on) scrum to Keighley. Despite winning the scrum, Harris smothered the Keighley number 8 and secured the ball for Ribb. A lovely passing move down the Ribb. backs line was just knocked on by a diving Leo. Scrum Keighley. A blindside break by the Keighley flanker was doused by WillG, and the recycled ball for Keighley almost burst by a rib-crunching tackle by George. Play moved left and right, the ball being kept alive well by Ben Coultherd, Leo, Joey, and Jack, a dummy by Freddie almost seeing him in at the corner but for a last ditch tackle and knock on. Keighley won the scrum and sought to kick their way out of danger, only for the well-placed Ben to pick up and turn. He broke 4 tackles before feeding Freddie, and on to Joey to motor in try number 2 (unconverted) in the left corner. 10-0 Ribb. after 18 minutes.
The Keighley kick off fell to Leo and a pass to Joey, and on to Freddie saw a hopeful punt forwards, but to little effect. Keighley returned with a punt of their own, and an unlucky Ben knocked on as a flailing Keighley arm caught him on his way past. Scrum Keighley. Ollie and Harris neutralised the Keighley break from the scrum, and Harris then sacked the next two Keighley phases, forcing a knock on in the second. Scrum Ribb. Keighley scrummaged powerfully again, but Ollie brought the ball out intelligently and gave to Freddie whose pass to WillG was just a little too far in front of him. Scrum Keighley. Another scrappy scrum was cleaned up by Ollie who tried to feed George but, again, just a little too far forward. A couple of unproductive scrums took us into the break, the mobility of the Ribb. pack, Jack, Ollie, Harris, and Harry in particular deserving mention. Half time, 10-0 Ribb.
Freddie put the restart to the left, WillG and Harris tackling well on the 22. Ribb. kept the forward momentum, Keighley attempting to kick their way out of trouble only to find Ben who returned it to where it had been kicked from. Keighley again, ill-advisedly, attempted to kick out of trouble, this time the ball being returned by a powerful WillG run. After the breakdown, Keighley attempted a third (ill-advised) kick, this time missing the ball with the boot entirely, the alert Leo diving in to arrow over from 3m. (converted). 17-0 Ribb. after 3 minutes of the 2nd half.
Freddie caught the kick off and booted down field, again piling the pressure on Keighley. A missed tackle saw a strong Keighley runner break away but Joey turned on the afterburners, caught him, and sacked him. Keighley knock on, Ribb. scrum. From the scrum on the Ribb. 22, Leo took the ball, surged past 5 tackles, then sidestepped 3 covering defenders to give him a try (converted) under the posts on 7 minutes. 24-0 Ribb.
The restart was caught and kicked, in return, by Joey setting up some good cohesive forward play. Gus Ogden, Harry, and Harris rucking brilliantly and protecting the ball well. Thomas Pratt, and Callum Mathew showed very good defensive awareness in the backs, and Harris continued to disrupt any benefit Keighley might have gained from winning scrums by being quick off the blocks. Some great advanced defence by Thomas and Callum won the ball for Ribb. on a Keighley attack. Harry scooped up the ball and passed to Joey who ran in try number 5 (converted). 31-0 Ribb. after 18 minutes.
Players from both sides were beginning to tire a little, and after a period of sustained pressure from Keighley on the Ribb. 22, a Keighley runner broke a tackle, and seemed as surprised as any to see his path to the try line clear. Try converted, 31-7 Ribb. after 20 minutes.
The game as a contest had started to peter out, but there was still time to determine whether it is legal for an opposition forward to tackle Harry in the lineout before he's caught the ball (it's not, and the offence was penalised; not all coaches were in agreement) and for a move starting on the right wing to involve Harry, Jack, Freddie, Thomas, Callum, and finally WillG for a lovely team try (converted) on 26 minutes. 38-7 Ribb. Final score.
Man of the match : Harris Dinsdale