NORTH Ribblesdale lost again at Northallerton on Saturday, but the 54-24 scoreline belied an improved performance on recent efforts.
Other than a 20 minute spell in the second half when 24 points were shipped, they remained competitive throughout.
Playing with the slope, Ribb started brightly and posed a threat through Matty Smith in the centre and the ebullient Jim Tunney taking things to the opposition, however the home side scored first when left winger Brian James scooted in at the corner for a try that was converted by the prolific Andrew Rio to give Northallerton a 7-0 lead.
Ribb came back and scored a penalty from Michael Thwaite and following several drives at the line, Fromm Reimana forced his way over under the posts for a seven-pointer to give Ribb a short-lived 10-7 lead.
Northallerton scored another try from the impressive No 8 Ian Swall unconverted and another penalty from Rio to give the home side an interval lead of 15-10.
Northallerton scored a further five tries in the second half, all converted and a penalty from Rio.
Ribb stuck manfully to their task with Matt Speres, Reimana, Andy Thwaite and Adam Middleton never giving an inch in the forward battle.
They scored two converted tries in the last 10 minutes, both by the obdurate Reimana giving him a hat-trick that was well deserved for a hearty performance.
The season has fizzled out for Ribb after an impressive start, with a lack of commitment in the tackle costing several games.
It is a problem that the coaches and players combined must seek to address to stabilise for next season.
This Saturday sees the final game at home to Old Grovians and a win is badly needed to end the season on a positive note.