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Muddy marvellous as Ribb triumph
11:23am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Sport
Wath 15 North Ribblesdale 24
North Ribblesdale travelled without five regulars but put in another gritty display to clarify their next season’s league status in Yorkshire Division One.
Jonathan Richards had a perfect day with the boot kicking a penalty and all three conversions.
The tries came from Adam Stubbs, Will Davidson and Ryan Kirk- bride. The win was secured on the back of a dominant pack driven on by Hayden Viles and a tenacious defence which held Wath at bay for the last ten minutes.
Playing up the slope on a sticky surface which deteriorated into a mudbath, Ribb took play to Wath. The first scrum was an indication of what was to come.
John Thwaite put pressure on his man, the hooker could not strike and Ribb’s engine room generated sufficient steam to shunt Wath off the ball.
Richards used the possession to bring Ashley Whaites in on a crash ball and Wath conceded a penalty which Richards converted from 40 yards.
The next ten minutes were a midfield battle in the mud as neither side could get their backline moving due to the tenacious tackling on view.
The break came after a penalty was put into the corner. Will Thwaite took the ball cleanly Will Davidson made the half break, Mick Carr carried it on and passed to Adam Stubbs who still had a bit to do.
A dummy and a side step put this maddeningly talented and inconsistent player through to score next to the posts. Richards again converted.
Wath came back hard and had the bulk of the possession, Three times they drove from line-outs on the Ribb line and on each occasion they were repulsed by a pack which was showing a great deal of collective spirit.
They finally scored a deserved try when scrum half Joe Bartlett dummied over following a drive by hooker Joshua Catlin. Andy Barras added the conversion.
Five minutes before half-time Ribb were weathering the home pressure in the midfield well through Richards, Davidson and Whaites when the visitors were penalised and Barras levelled the scores.
Parity lasted for just a couple of minutes. A long pass from the left was intercepted by Davidson who showed great pace to score under the posts, Richards converting .
Ribb had the slope in second half and immediately put the ball deep. Wath cleared but the visitors drove from the line-out and Wath spent the next ten minutes defending.
It was Ribb’s last spell of dominance but they made it tell. A surging scrum allowed Kirkbride to get a crucial try, Richards converted to put his side two scores clear at 24-10.
Wath were not done and they had their best period of the game. Ribb were forced to defend for the rest of the game.They were ahead and they were not going to let their lead go easily.
Wath scored a try with ten minutes to go. The ball had seemed to be grounded but was deemed held up. The home side put together a decent scrum, probed left before moving the ball right from the ruck for Ashley Rothery to score wide out.
Barras struck the conversion well from a difficult lie but it just drifted wide. With ten minutes to go Wath needed to score twice.
They were unable to break down the Ribb defence and the visitors secured a fine win.
The defence was very solid, the scrum was much on top and the line- out operated well.
Huddersfield YMCA at home in the Yorkshire Shield on Saturday, provides another mouth-watering test for the Ribb squad.