Skiptons bite matches their bark
Brotherhood bounce back from close defeat at Dukes with a solid win over old rivals
Skipton RFC welcomed both Baildon teams as part of Super Saturday sponsored by Candelisa. Both clubs talked a good game in the pre match build up with Skipton lock Pete Collins (formerly of Baildon) being the centre of attention.
Skipton kicked off and immediately Baildon started the stronger, shocking a perhaps overly confident Skipton side. A mistake in the backline under pressure from a blitz Baildon defence saw Baildon secure the ball deep in Skipton territory and within minutes Baildons fullback went over the whitewash for the first score which was converted from out wide by skipper Tom Massey.
Rallied by Lee Shaw's (Witch Electrical) team talk under the posts, Skipton finally started working through the gears. Jack Firth was brought down just short on the left touchline for vice Captain Andy Whitley (The Albion) to cross the tryline the following phase, only for the touch judge to call Firth as in touch. The frustration was short lived as a steal at the line out was followed by fast hands down the line for Joseph Martin (Silver back Golf Day) to touch down in the corner. Alex Baldwin converted to level the scores.
From the next kickoff Baildon regained possession. Their attack was short lived as Andrew Maclean stole the ball and went on a 20 yard sprint up field. Good support and slick hands from Shaw and Baldwin saw Jack Firth finish the move beating the scrambling defence to dive over in the corner. Conversion missed.
A series of infringements around the ruck saw the remainder of the half be a stop-start affair. Both teams opting for a successful penalty kicks at goal saw the scores increase to 15-10 by halftime thanks to Tom Massey and Alex Baldwin.
The second half saw several changes made to the Skipton lineup. Miff Smith, Pete Collins and Jonny Stoddart all entering the fray and ending the afternoon for Daz Greenwood who put a commendable shift in the front row for only his third appearance, and the veteran Dave Mitton. Instantly however the pack began to dominate in the scrum and turned several over against the head, setting a great platform for free flowing back play. The link up between backs and forwards was seemless with Andy Whitley popping up in the backline to create the overlap which saw Alex Baldwin scarper through to score the first points of the second half. Shortly after, Miff Smith showed his skill with the boot as his well placed kick was grounded by Jonny Stoddart in the corner. Another kick, this time from Maclean, set up the try of the game. As the crossfield attempt was misfired behind the entire backline, Jack Firth was the quickest to react. With a burst of power he beat his opposite man on the outside to touchdown his second of the game and cement himself as the Man of the Match.
The final 20 the game again became very stop start. Superb defence from Skipton, in particular Rob Morgan (Beer Monkey), Ash Greaves (Sponsorship Available) and Harry Maltby (Gerigraph Construction Solutions). When in possession Pete Collins made fun of his former team sucking them all into rucks to try to leave a lasting impression and laughing off each attempt. Strong running also from Ben Brearley in the centres and Jordan Wilson in the back row kept Skipton on the front foot and the line of attrition around halfway. Going into the final 5 Baildon upped the effort however solid defence saw the Baildon 6 spill the ball in the tackle from a 5m penalty and the game was brought to an end.
A solid effort from the Brotherhood where the togetherness of the group was demonstrated in both defence and discipline. The critical nature of the attack when the chances arose may have secured the bonus point but the result was all down to the team ethic.
Next week Bradford Salem Boars visit Sandylands in the 3pm kickoff.