A slick and well drilled Leeds Corinthians side starved Skipton of possession and, despite some flourishes from the visitors, went on to record a five try victory to collect the bonus league point.
With Kiwi signing Yvarne Carroll (Shaun Barraclough Plumbing and Heating) out of action from concussion sustained in the encounter with Baildon the previous week, skipper Hamish Munro (RN Wooler) stepped up to the mark at No. 10 for Skipton. The visitors kicked-off down the slope into a strong cross field wind and the ball didn't go 10 metres, giving Corinthians the put-in at the scrum back. Despite some excellent work from the Skipton forwards, with Carl Nicholson (Top Dental) stealing the ball from Corinthians at the line-out, and winger Jamie Carroll (JD Construction) putting in two good clearance returns, the visitors conceded too many penalties and, after many waves of Corinthian attack, a rolling maul from the line-out put the home side over for their first try. An excellent touch line kick in the windy conditions added the extra points.
Skipton were living on scraps of possession. Corinthians conceded a penalty at the line-out but ran in a second converted try when Skipton's kick down field did not find touch. Corinthians knocked-on from the re-start and Skipton gained ground from the scrum. They were awarded a penalty for a Corinthians infringement on the ground under their own posts and Munro slotted the kick for Skipton's only points of the afternoon. This time the visitors knocked-on from the re-start and Corinthians put the ball down field from the scrum. Skipton cleared but the Corinthians winger collected the ball and the home side were over for try number three after two phases of play. The conversion attempt was again successful in the blustery conditions.
Skipton gained a penalty from the re-start for a Corinthians off-side but Munro's kick drifted wide of the posts. A great break by Skipton centre Joe Gill from the 22 re-start ended in a knock-on but Corinthians were caught off-side again and Skipton opted for the scrum. No. 8 Mark Davison (Seddon and Davison), who put in a tremendous work rate throughout the game, broke from the base of the scrum and was unlucky to be bundled into touch. The whistle sounded for the first half at 21-3 to Corinthians.
The re-start kick by the home side again did not go 10 metres in the cross field wind. Skipton gained a scrum back but, frustratingly, scrum-half Jonathan Kulik's down field kick went out on the full. Corinthians then concede two penalties for a high tackle and not releasing and Skipton came tantalisingly close but a break away try to Corinthians stretched their lead to 26-3. Coach Craig Bartlett (Pure Travel/WBW Surveyors) made two changes, bringing Malc Willsher (A&G Plastics) on at second row and stalwart Chris Wright (SHC) into the front row. The changes were effective with Skipton taking the next scrum against the head and Willsher stealing the ball at the line-out.
Great interplay between forwards and backs saw Skipton's best period of the game, driving the ball forward through many phases of play. Corinthians received a yellow card for repeated handling on the ground. Skipton tapped and ran from the penalty but conceded a penalty themselves for going over the top. Corinthians drove down field and gained a five metre scrum but Skipton turned the ball over in the ruck and Gill put in a kick through and chase. Corinthians knocked-on and a break by Davison and good work by Kulik put the ball down the line. A knock -on at the line-out gave Corinthians a reprieve and, against the run of play, they ran in try number five.
A late penalty to Skipton saw them back down on Corinthians line but time had run out, giving the home side a well earned 31-3 victory.