Skipton 2nd Xv 30 Vs Old Crossleyans Gators 8
report by Craig Pattison
1) Andy Wills
2) James Cooper
3) James Hampshire
4) Paul Savage
5) Will Clayton
6) Albert Richardson
7) Ryan Price
8) Marcus Berry
9) Ryan Arnold
10) Ricky Jowett
11) Jack Brown
12) Lewis Sharpe
13) Isaac Mitchell
14) Jonathan Woodhouse
15) Connor McLoughlin
On Holy Saturday, the day when Jesus spirit went through the harrowing of Hell the Gators made the pleasant journey through Keighley into North Yorkshire to take on 3rd in the table Skipton and looking to cement their place in the playoffs. The reverse fixture on the slope of Kensington was a brutal close encounter in which Skipton came out as victors and the Gators expected nothing less in this game.
The Gators were dealt 2 blows prior to kick-off, losing Steve “Beany” Shaw to indigestion, and Richard “another week, another excuse” Durgan to a viscous bout of “Murg Flu”. As the Gators arrived at Sandylands the home team were already out on the field going through their warm up and looking like they would be as strong a side as before.
From the kick off it was obvious that Skipton had a significant size advantage both in terms of numbers in the squad and physical size. Despite the obvious size advantage the gators showed great determination in defending everything that was thrown at them. Despite this it was Skipton who took the lead with a well worked kick through the Gators defence.
Some dubious decisions from the referee for both sides began to get both sets of supports vocal and their frustrations were reflected on the field with a serious of penalties to both sides.
At half time the game was still evenly poised with the Gators narrowly behind thanks to a penalty and some excellent defending and discipline. The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with very little between the sides.
As the game entered the last 10 minutes it was still anyone’s to win with Skipton on 2 scores in front and the Gators enjoying most of the possession. The feel to the game began to change as Skipton had 2 men sin-binned in quick succession for dangerous play and a late tackle. This spurred the Gators on and they soon got a try of their own thanks to an excellent solo try from Jack Brown. Pressure was now on the home side however they proved too strong in the end to run out 30-8 victors.
The Gators can take much credit from the game from how they played the game, their discipline and their solid defence against a much larger, more experienced Skipton team. Special credit and mention must go to the youngsters in the team (Ryan Arnold and Isaac Mitchell) who never took a backwards step and played with great confidence.
For those concerned, Durgan made a recovery not seen since the events of the first Easter all those years ago and was seen in the Murg later than afternoon.