For the second time since Christmas, Skipton journeyed south of the Ouse with a depleted side and suffered an eight try defeat to a strong and well drilled Knottingley.
A calm day at Marsh Road saw the debut of Skipton's new Kiwi signing, prop Tyrin Wyllie, who gave a good account of himself. The visitors made a good start and were soon in Knottingley's 22 but a penalty for Skipton holding on saw the home side put the ball into the corner and a strong forward drive from the line -out saw Knottingley prop Sean James over for the opening try. Stand-off Benny Tucker had no trouble with the conversion.
Despite aggressive Skipton defence from the re-start, a kick and chase from broken play gave the home side their second converted try. A knock-on in the next phase of play gave Skipton the put-in and a sweet pass from stand-off Yvarne Carroll (Shaun Barraclough Plumbing and Heating) put centre Ciaran Bartlett (Pure Travel) clear but it was adjudged forward and play was brought back.
Good forward work by Skipton allowed Carroll to chip through for full-back Jack McLeod (Drake and Macefield) to chase. Knottingley were caught behind their own line and Skipton gained a five metre scrum. Despite tremendous pressure from the Skipton pack, the home side kept them at bay.
Skipton were caught off-side and again Knottingley put the ball into the corner and ran in try number three from the line-out. Carroll took a knock to the leg and had to leave the field. Skipper Hamish Munro (RN Wooler) stepped up to stand-off and Joe Gill (JBL Gill & Sons) came into the centre. The home side were starving Skipton of possession but the visitors gained a penalty for Knottingley being off their feet in the ruck and Munro slotted the kick to give Skipton three points.
Lost ball from the re-start saw Knottingley down field again. Skipton number 8 Mark Davison (Seddon and Davison) broke from the base of the scrum but possession was lost again and Knottingley broke through the line for converted try number four and the sides turned round at 28-3 to Knottingley.
Winger Andy Maclean (Thisledo Holiday Cottage) collected the re-start kick and fed back row Harry McEneaney (Ryan Binner Plumbing and Heating) who carried the ball down field. Despite a free kick to Skipton for Knottingley feeding at the scrum, the pressure from the home side was relentless and Skipton were soon forced over their own line. Knottingley sent the ball across the field from the five metre scrum and were over for try number five in the corner.
Skipton Coach Craig Bartlett replaced Jordan Wilson (WBW) in the back row with Tony Spensley and, unfortunately, Skipton winger Jamie Carroll (JD Construct) took a blow to his Adam's apple and reluctantly had to retire with Craig Bartlett (Pure Travel/WBW) himself replacing him in the back line. The visitors were unsettled by the changes and Knottingley soon had try number six. The conversion attempt on this occasion going astray.
Skipton were in front of the kicker from the re-start and the scrum back gave possession to Knottingley. A well drilled back line move gave them try number seven. Knottingley received a yellow card in the next phase of play for a high tackle on Jack McLeod. Skipton put the ball down field for the line-out. Second row Mal Willsher (A&G Plastics) came into the pack and a well worked line-out and determined forward play saw McLeod break through the line for Skipton's only try of the day. He added the extra points himself.
An interception from the re-start gave Knottingley their eighth try. The conversion attempt hit the post but they had racked up an impressive 52-10 victory.