Spirirted Skipton Vandalised by second half bonus point Halifax
By Lee Shaw
Injury and indiscipline strikes Skipton down in the second half
A sunny afternoon at Halifax Vandals saw the home side kick off down the slope into the cross field wind. A chip through on the return by Skipton stand-off Yvarne Carroll (Shaun Barraclough Plumbing and Heating) was collected by Vandals who gained a penalty at the breakdown and put the ball way down field into the corner. A scrum followed the line out but solid defence by Skipton held the home side up on the line. Turn over ball at the five metre scrum by Skipton No. 8 Mark Davison (Seddon & Davison) recovered possession for the visitors and a chip through put winger Jake Emmison (Sponsorship available) away, but he was bundled into touch before the half-way line.
The Vandals gained two consecutive penalties for high tackles by Skipton. They put the first into touch but tapped and ran the second and were over in the corner for the opening try of the game. The conversion attempt went wide.
Turn over ball in the next phase of play by Skipton back-row Charlie Brown (Mr Odd Job) put the visitors down field and great forward play by Davison and Harry McEneaney (Ryan Binner Plumbing) took Skipton close. Vandals were caught off-side twice. Skipton tapped and ran and then put the ball into the corner but lost the line-out. A Vandals knock-on gave Skipton a reprieve and Davison broke from the base of the scrum but Vandals countered from a stolen ball.
The home side gained a penalty within kickable range for Skipton going over the top but the kick drifted wide in the wind. A great break by Skipton full-back Joe Stapleton (Sponsorship available) in the dying minutes of the half did not result in points and the sides turned round with the Vandals leading by the narrow margin of 5-0.
The re-start kick did not go 10 metres, giving the Vandals the scrum advantage. Good defensive work by Skipton put Vandals into touch and Carroll cleared from the line-out. Skipton Coach Craig Bartlett (Pure Travel/WBW) replaced Tom Allsopp (Castlefield Cosmetics) in the pack with Jordan Wilson (WBW) but the Vandals won the next line-out and a long range kick down field put them onto Skipton's line. The visitors' throw-in was not straight. Vandals opted for the scrum and went for a push-over try but were awarded a penalty try for Skipton interference, stretching their lead to 12-0. Try number three for the home side soon followed, which was converted to bring their tally to 19. Skipton winger Jamie Carroll (JD Construct) had to retire injured and Bartlett took to the field himself.
Vandals gained a further penalty for Skipton going over the top, again opted for the scrum and ran in try number four to earn a bonus league point. The try was converted.
Skipton gained a late penalty. They tapped and ran and a great pick-up by skipper Hamish Munro (RN Wooler) saw him over for a consolation try, with the full-time score standing at 26-5 in the Vandals' favour.