Yarnbury 1st XV v Ripon 1st XV
match report by John Rawson
Yarnbury have been struggling for a settled side since the turn of the year but managed to reel off their third consecutive victory against a hard working and committed Ripon side who refused to be put away .In a tense last 10 minutes the lead changed hands but Yarnbury managed to hold on and got the win.They had to reorganise again with stand off Danny Pound missing from a knock last week James White was drafted in at fly half and Josh Bell cam into the centre spot vacated.Yarnbury had James Falgate back in the second row alongside stalwart Ian Maycock to give stability to the set pieces.
The changes seemed to disjoint Yarnbury at the start and Ripon were on the attack immediately after a knock on from the kick off gave Ripon the ascendency.The away side capitalised on their superiority when switching play left winger Tom Leeming found enough space down the left wing to go in for the first score in the corner and with scrum half Ben Whitaker sure with the boot the conversion opened up a seven point lead.A flowing counter attack courtesy of a Jason Avison interception nearly led to a score but the wing Graham Maycock was hauled down short before successive penalties near the Ripon line saw stand off James White crash over coming on to a short pass and with full back George Oldridge converting the scores were soon level.
Yarnbury continued in disjointed fashion with some poor passing before hooker Chris Doyle was penalised for holding on in the loose and Whitaker made no mistake with the penalty and it stayed that way until the interval.Unfortunately ,Yarnbury spurned penalties with not making touch through and allowing Ripon to clear their lines too easily.The good thing was the form of wings Joe Pinnick and Graham Maycock cleaning up ball and defending well to stop the opposition progressing up to the break.
Yarnbury started well after the half time team talk when a high punt from Pinnick caused chaos in the defensive ranks and the pass onto supporting wing forward Martin Rainey saw the forward crash over for the home sides second try.Pinnick converting when full back George Oldridge was substituted.The lead was soon reduced when Yarnbury were aught offside Whitaker again good with the boot to close the gap before Pinnick kicked a penalty after Ripon were caught offside after a Yarnbury drive for the line.Ripon then broke out of defence and their Captain and second row looped round to the left in the 25 metre area to score in the corner for an opportunist try that Ripon deserved with their superior team work and with the trusty boot of Whittaker gave the away side a 17-20 lead with fifteen minutes to go.
The situation got worse on 63 minutes when Yarnbury were again penalised for holding on in the tackle and Whitaker extended the Ripon lead with another penalty and with Ripon retaining possession well things looked bleak for the home side but such was this game that Yarnbury conjured up a final effort and the backs handled well for Captain Jason Avison to cut in from the right and skip past the defence to score near the posts and with Pinnick converting put Yarnbury in the lead by one point.From the kick off wing Joe Pinnick was a little quick off the mark gathering the kick out and was penalised Whitaker again gobbling up the points to give Ripon the lead only to give back a penalty straight from the restart which Pinnick casually converted to give the final score 27-26 in favour of another Yarnbury win to move into third place in the table.Only possible due to the first miss of the day by scrum half Whitaker who pulled a final penalty chance.
Pinnick was judged man of the match for a solid all round display but the pack defended well to give the platform for a third successive win and an improvement after the turn of the year but changes and unavailabilities are seriously effecting the progress of the Horsforth side this season.