Skipton 2nds 59 v York RI 2nds 25
The spirit of rugby wins all-round.....
On an afternoon perfect for Rugby with a firm but forgiving ground underfoot, Skipton did battle with York RI. Having no subs and borrowing 2 players York RI in Skipton’s mind would be a walkover. This however was not to be the case as York crossed Skipton’s line in the first 5 minutes through some well orchestrated play. Skipton, having been shocked into awareness that there was a game to be played, came back strongly with the forwards dominating all set piece. From a line out that was driven 30 metres into York’s half, Skipton were awarded a scrum off the back of which Jonny Gane broke, sold a dummy to York’s scrum half and went under the posts for a converted try. Having demonstrated one superb rolling maul, Skipton went one step further and drove 40 metres with the whole pack rolling the ball, allowing Harry Maltby to take the ball from Luke Barnaby and dive over under the posts for probably the best try of the season so far. Rick Wilsher found taking line out ball easy with the rock like support of Morgan and Johnson with Barnaby, Maltby and Bibby securing the fringes. However, it was York who were to get the next 2 scores. The first being a penalty and the second a powerful try scored by Sam Garrett. With the score at 14 to13, Skipton’s backs began to shine and with some slick passing Callum Kay released Andy Bullock, who in turn freed Josh Berry to scamper over for a birthday try.
Half time saw replacements being made with Zack Bullock, having played another consummate game as hooker, moving to the opposition as flanker. Alec Bullock came off for a well deserved rest after tackling body and soul throughout the first half and Sam Hunter came on for Morgan Bibby. With Troy Johnson and Rick Wilsher being needed on the first team pitch, Alex Farquhar and Adam Birkes replaced them. Having played the first half with very poorly fingers Callum Patrick made way for Matt Hewitt whilst Simon Lacey bolstered the opposition.
With much re-jigging of positions, allowing everyone to get game time, Skipton started the second half the stronger. After a neat chip through Andy Maclean, as versatile as ever, scampered down the wing, pounced on a fumble by the opposition and scuttled and rolled 5 yards over the line. At 24 to 13 Skipton continued to apply the pressure with the backs coming to the fore again when Cam Braithwaite showed his strength and pace to go over for a converted try. York still refused to lie down and replied with a try of their own but Skipton, playing with confidence and wisdom, pressured York RI’s line allowing Sam Garrett, now playing for Skipton, to cross the whitewash again. Skipper Callum Kay played pinball with the post and cross bar to get the conversion. At 38 to 18 Skipton thought they’d done enough but York proved themselves to be more than capable opponents when they crossed the Skipton line again for a converted try. Skipton’s forwards, having cowed the opposition with smashing tackles from Carl Nicholson and Sam Hunter, forced York to be on the back foot, once again freeing up the Skipton backs with Matt Hewitt going over for a converted try shortly followed by Andy Bullock with another converted try. The latter stages saw Andy Maclean move into scrum half allowing Brian Brocksom to take a well deserved breather. The final score came from a superb high ball put across field by skipper Kay for Matt Hewitt to receive on the full then going over to score what could possibly be the second best try of the season.
The game, being a friendly, was a fantastic spectacle to watch with every man on the pitch thoroughly enjoying themselves and playing to their best potential. With referees seldom getting praised for their efforts, this was not the case for this game with both sides commending him for a superbly officiated match. Skipton’s most valuable player went to the full squad as every man stood up and played to the best of their abilities.