BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE
WEST LEEDS 30 - 17 SKIPTON
BY WARREN BURNETT
A minute’s silence was observed prior to the start of this match in respect of former Skipton President Richard Wilman.
Beaten by West Leeds at home, Skipton hoped to even the score at Blue Hills, work commitments however resulting in the weakening of the Skipton backline with both Howson and Wootton unavailable.
Skipton kicked off into the strong breeze and were soon rewarded with a penalty converted by Alex Naylor, 3-0. West Leeds then easily broke through the Skipton back line and the Leeds centre ran 50 yards to score under the posts, 3-7. Skipton were far the better side despite playing against the elements and two more penalties converted by Naylor gave them the lead 9-7. West Leeds were then awarded a penalty on the half way line which was duly converted 9-10.
Skipton were going well and should have scored a try when Patrick Murray, playing out of position at centre, with men outside unsuccessfully tried to score but from the resulting maul scrum half Kevin Bottomley got the ball out wide and Jonathan Richards scored wide out 14-10. West Leeds scored another penalty to make it 14-13 at half time.
The second half should have been Skipton’s but what a nightmare. Straight from the kick off the Leeds backs broke through the Skipton defense to score a converted try 14-20, then they added another penalty 14-23. Naylor added a penalty for Skipton 17-23 then another break away by West Leeds gave them a further converted try 17-30. Although 13 points down Skipton were still looking the better side and with ten minutes to go they still had chances to score at least 3 tries but a catalogue of mistakes denied them the points they needed. Skipton remain sixth in the league with one match to play at home against Yarnbury on Saturday 7th May. Again impressing for Skipton was young prop Chris Lambert, Connor Hinchcliffe in the back row and veteran Kevin Bottomley at scrum half.