Skipton 2nds 12 v Old Brodleians 34
Late cry offs in the 1st XV make it tough for the Mighty 2s....
With call ups for the first team, unavailabilities and injuries affecting the Skipton 2nd string, to eke out a win against 2nd placed Old Brodleians was always going to be a mammoth task. The mighty twos took to the field with no respect for the opposition’s reputation. The pack, superbly led by Rob Morgan, were more than capable in the set piece as well as the loose. With Farquhar and Morgan launching the ever improving Harry Maltby at lineouts, Skipton were securing good ball. Luke Barnaby cleaning perfectly at the line to give scrum half Miff Smith plenty of clean ball. It was, however, Old Brods who opened the scoring with an opportunist try out wide. Despite valiant tackling by Andy Bullock and Callum Patrick in the centres, Brods further added to their tally making the score 12 to 0. At this point in the proceedings the youngest member of the team, Alex Bullock, decided to play well in advance of his age, size and experience when he took the ball on the wing, hitch kicked through one attempted tackle, rode a high tackle and continued to plough his way over the line to score his first try at senior level. Duly converted by Callum Kay. Brother Zach Bullock continued to surprise his older opposition by winning ball against the head in the scrum while Adam Burkes, playing as lock, anchored the scrum like a pro. The ever versatile and Austin Healey protégé Andy Maclean playing at full back played one of his most intelligent games yet with many decisions relieving pressure and turning defence into attack. Due to stalwart tackling by the opposition, winger Rikki Walker, was unable to show his pace with the ball but he more than compensated this with an exhibition of his devastating tackling. Despite Skipton’s best efforts it was Brods who once again crossed the line with another opportunistic try. Skipton’s pack responded and after pressure in the scrum, resulting in the ball squirting out, it was No 8 Alex Farquhar who scooped up the ball and scampered all of 20 metres, demolished the defence and crossed the line. With the half time score at 12 v 17 Skipton were still in it.
The second half saw utility forward Sam Garrett moving to No 8 and Zach Webster coming on as flanker. Skipton showed much resilience but Old Brods started to use their experience and muscle to gain the upper hand. After an injury to centre Callum Patrick and Jordan Emmerson, whose throwing in was superb, Skipton were forced to make substitutions putting players out of their preferred positions. Brocksom came on as scrum half with Smith moving to centre while Morgan Bibby replaced Webster who in turn moved up to front row. Skipton did not take one backward step, even though under enormous pressure and managed to spend a sustained period harassing the opposition’s try line. This was to come to no avail as once again Old Brods were to score two more tries, both of which were well worked. In the latter stages Skipton welcomed back on the wing Simon Lacey who managed to make his presence felt. With the final score at 34 to 12 both Skipton and Old Brods knew they’d been in a game. Skipton’s most valuable player by far for his outstanding performance in attack and defence was Sam Garrett.