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Scarborough rock by North Ribb
North Ribblesdale 30 Scarborough 23
The game of rugby was the overall winner in this enthralling contest played in excellent spirit and refereed magnificently.
Both side ran the ball at every opportunity with quick breakdown ball, play moved seamlessly from end to end and side to side.
Ribb made light of missing three influential players, skipper Mick Carr out for a month with a knee injury, player-coach Hayden Viles and Jonathan Richards.
Despite being theoretically weakened, Ribb went close to scoring in the first two minutes as they started well.
Repulsed they came back and a flowing three-quarter movement allowed Will Davidson to slice through for a try converted by Steve Moon.
Any Ribb spectators thinking this was a walk in the park were soon disabused of the thought.
After Ribb had gone further ahead with a penalty, Scarborough scored two tries in three minutes from their first excursions into the home half.
The esoterically named Nino Cutino winning loose ball for the mundane Tom Ratcliffe to release the equally esoteric Zbynec Schutz to score.
Two minutes later a powerful run by open-side flanker Ben Wilson into home territory saw a chip through fumbled by full back Rob Hayes and the predatory Ratcliffe galloped over for a trademark opportunist try.
A period of calmer play followed and though there was no further scoring for the next 30 minutes, the spectators had plenty of action to follow.
Ribb broke the stalemate with a try by the dangerous Simon Bolland.
The home side suffered a blow when Matthew Dakin left the field to give former Skipton skipper Matthew Speres his debut in the unfamiliar centre position. He looked as though he had played there all his career.
Speres imposed himself in the 60th minute cutting through to put Davidson in for his second try.
Scarborough then got a penalty to leave Ribb leading 25-18.
It looked like the next score would decide which side was ultimately going to win the game.
Moon, who had a very influential game, unleashed a string of sidesteps to take him through to the full back before offloading to Ben Mitchell for Ribb’s last try.
Scarborough came back hard, but Ribb's defence, much improved since the embarrassment at York, held firm.
Ratcliffe kicked a penalty and prop Luke Raines crashed over but the deficit was too great for Scarborough .
Ribb are on a roll, winning and playing well despite missing key players.
Newcomer Speres looks a good acquisition, talented fast and fiery, a hooker by trade, he looks capable of playing anywhere.
All the team played well. Chris Heap was all over the place. His crucial tackle in the second half could well have saved the game.
The pack went well in scrum and line-out and this continuing improvement means Ribb visist Huddersfield YMCA with an expectation of pulling off a shock win on Saturday.