Skipton edge Baildon
Tough test at Sandylands results in third successive victory for the Giraffes
Two tries from skipper Hamish Munro and a third from back row Harry McEneaney, in his 101st senior appearance for the club, secured Skipton's third win on the trot in Yorkshire 3.
An early Skipton penalty for a Baildon high tackle went wide of the posts and the home side had to endure a period of sustained Baildon pressure until a knock-on gave them the scrum in good field position. Fast, sweet ball from Kiwi signing Yvarne Carroll at stand-off put Munro clear for Skipton's opening try. Carroll added the extra points.
Although Skipton gained a penalty and put the ball downfield in the next phase of play, Baildon countered and the home side conceded a penalty themselves under the posts for going over the top. The visitors slotted the kick to claw back three points. Skipton gained a scrum from the re-start for a Baildon knock-on but, unusually, lost the ball against the head. Baildon gained a penalty for Skipton killing the ball in the resultant ruck. They opted for goal, the kick was successful and the sides turned round at 7-6 in Skipton's favour.
The second period did not start well for the home side. The kick-off did not go 10 yards, giving Baildon a scrum back. An early penalty to the visitors for Skipton handling on the floor then followed. The kick was again successful and Baildon had taken the lead.
Skipton Coach Craig Bartlett brought Shaun Barraclough on at scrum-half to replace Jonathan Kulik and a few moments later had to make an enforced change as Yvarne Carroll had to leave the field following a knock to the head, being replaced by Sam Brearley. Before the home side had chance to re-adjust they conceded penalty under their posts for killing the ball and Baildon stretched their lead to 12-7.
Skipton then entered their best period of play of the game, with driving forward work downfield eventually putting Munro over for their second try. Munro added the extra points himself. A blind side break from a Skipton scrum following the re-start saw Barraclough put McEneaney away. He put in a superb kick through for full-back Jack McLeod to run onto and from the line-out a rolling maul by the Skipton forwards saw Barraclough held up just short. Skipton gained a penalty back for an earlier infringement and McEneaney was over for the home side's third try in his 101st senior appearance. The conversion attempt drifted wide and a late penalty to Skipton for Baildon going over the top was also unsuccessful but the home side had secured victory at 19-12.