EMPHAHTIC WIN BUT MISS OUT ON PROMOTION BY 2 POINTS!
SKIPTON 51 - 5 LEEDS CORINTHIANS
by Simon Smith
Despite an emphatic seven try victory over Leeds Corinthians at Sandylands, Skipton had promotion cruelly snatched away in the last play of the game at Cawkill Park, Leyburn, where second placed Wensleydale scored a converted try on the stroke of full time to secure a 25-22 win against league leaders Halifax Vandals.
Following an early forward drive, a well taken line-out ball by second row Luke Stockton close on Corinthians line and good forward work from Harry McEneaney put stand-off Jake Duxbury over for the Reds' opening try. An excellent return kick from the re-start by Duxbury put Skipton back down field and a stolen ball at the line out by back-row Jordan Wilson sent the ball away. Second row McEneaney joined the back line and crossed for Skipton's second try to the delight of the home crowd. Duxbury added the extra points.
Another good take at the line out, this time by Stockton, set up a rolling maul and a sustained period of pressure by Skipton followed. Corinthians were caught off-side and Duxbury converted the penalty to extend the home side's lead.
Full-back Matty Langstaff made a try saving tackle on Corinthians first excursion into Skipton's half and Duxbury countered with a long range kick putting Skipton back into Corinthians 22. The visitors' number 7 then received a yellow card for a dangerously high tackle on Langstaff. McEneaney took advantage of Corinthians disarray and joined the back line again, going in for Skipton's third try. Duxbury converted and the sides turned round at 22 nil in Skipton's favour.
Corinthians started the second half strongly but Skipton countered with a good run from Langstaff. He put back-row Matty Wilson clear but he was bundled into touch just short of the line. Duxbury made amends a few minutes later putting number 8 Ben Hall through for Skipton's fourth try, securing the bonus league point. Duxbury added the extra points.
Corinthians fought back to Skipton's line but Matty Wilson ended the move with a text book smother tackle. Langstaff and centre Hamish Munro broke out from the ruck but the ball was knocked-on. Duxbury scored an opportunist fifth try for Skipton from a Corinthians knock-on. He added the extra points himself and the home side had a comfortable 36 nil lead. Not to miss out on the action, Jack Mcleod scored a classic wingers' try, being fed by Langstaff and Munro.
Corinthians fought back again and secured a series of penalties under Skipton's posts, from one of which Stockton received a yellow card for handling on the ground. Eventually the visitors went over for an unconverted try but Skipton soon replied with Duxbury converting a penalty for Corinthians not retreating ten yards.
After a series of quick tap penalties, centre Liam Jordan ran in Skipton's final try of the afternoon with Duxbury adding the extra points to seal the game at 51-5 to the home side.