Kiwis welcomed with a win
Experience shines as veteran Davo continues his scoring streak
Two new Kiwi signings strengthened an on-form Skipton to topple Thornensians in perfect conditions at Sandylands. Prop Bailey Oliedam, who had turned out for the Reds the previous week at Modernians, was joined by stand-off Yvarne Carroll.
The kick-off by Thornensians went dead, giving Skipton a scrum-back but the visitors made up for their opening mistake with a ferocious early period of attack, pushing the home side back. Skipton stuck to their task, absorbing the pressure, until they were rewarded with a penalty for Thornensians going over the top. Yvarne Carroll slotted the kick and Skipton took an early lead.
The next foray down field by Thornensians saw Skipton gain a further penalty for off-side. The home side couldn't make use of this and a misunderstanding at the next line-out saw a Thornensians second row break through unopposed for an easy try. The conversion attempt went wide.
From the re-start, Skipton gained another penalty for the visitors handling on the floor. Carroll made no mistake with the kick and the Reds had re-taken the lead. They conceded a scrum against the head on their own 22 in the next phase of play. Thornensians gained a further scrum on Skipton's line which lead to push over try number two for the visitors. The extra points again went begging. A penalty attempt by Thornensians just before half-time was also unsuccessful and the sides turned round at 10-6 to Thornensians.
Skipton captain Hamish Munro put the ball down field from a penalty early in the second half for Thornensians crossing and a great break by winger George Smithson linked with Munro and opposite winger Jamie Carroll only for a last forward pass to deny a try.
A knock-on by the visitors gave Skipton a scrum in excellent field position and Skipton No. 8 Mark Davison broke from the base of the scrum for the home side's first try. The conversion attempt drifted wide. A great chase by Skipton's Ben Ross from a Jonathan Kulik up and under in the next phase of play linked with Munro, McLeod and Jamie Carroll only for the last pass to go astray. The game then saw a series of scrums to either side for knock-ons and handling errors. Eventually, sweet ball from a Skipton scrum put Munro away for his side's second try, to the delight of the home crowd. The conversion attempt narrowly missed the posts.
A penalty to Thornensians from the re-start return came to nothing and Skipton returned the ball down field. The home side gained a penalty for Thornensians pulling down in the line-out on their own 22. Munro made sure with the kick to stretch Skipton's lead.
Skipton forward Charlie Brown unfortunately received a yellow card for a high tackle a few minutes before time. Thornensians opted to run the ball from the penalty but a try saving tackle by Jamie Carroll on the stroke of full-time denied them a further score. He received Man of the Match for Skipton for his fearless and effective tackling and speed onto the ball.