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Ribb cruise to Shield victory
11:35am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Sport
Buy this photo » Steven Moon scores a try for North Ribblesdale
North Ribblesdale 43 Pontefract 5
North Ribblesdale made light of the absence of five first team players as they moved comfortably into the second round of the Yorkshire Shield with an ease they did not expect.
Pontefract defeated them twice in Yorkshire Division One last season but inspired by two-try Matt Speres the home side took their revenge.
Sam Boatwright had an immense game and Ribb’s rock-solid defence meant that Pontefract were unable to make ground in the backs .
The first 20 minutes proved to be close fought with both midfield defences holding firm.
Ribb were getting the better quality ball and were probing away at the Pontefract midfield so it was no surprise when they scored the first try.
Boatwright turned over a loose ball in midfield and set up an attack which saw Simon Bolland make ground down the wing.
When he was halted by a good tackle, the Ribb back row won the ruck, and continued to exert pressure.
Steven Moon, who had an influential game, made a half break which was carried on by Nathan Dakin. When the ball was recycled again it was moved right to Bolland who beat two men before rounding the full back to score a try which Jonathan Richards converted.
Pontefract came back when Ribb were penalised for obstruction from the kick off and put the penalty into the corner.
The power of their mauling game was apparent when they went close, but a determined Ribb pack held them out before clearing their lines.
The second try came after Boatwright stole the ball at a line-out.
Moon took the ball in before linking with Adam Stubbs and then Will Thwaite to set up Speres for a try.
Ribb went into half-time in the lead, although the score was possibly unfair to Ponte as they had enjoyed a lot of the ball but didn’t have the same fire power.
One of North Ribblesdale’s old failings surfaced at the start of the second half. They failed to deal with the short kick off and when the visitors won a scum they kicked the ball deep into the home 22.
Pontefract won the line-out and quick ball set up a try for Hodgson.
It looked like it was going to be a tight game but Ribb upped the tempo.
They kicked off deep and forced Ponte back. The pressure resulted in a penalty which was kicked to the corner.
From the line-out the ball was mauled and an opportunity was created for Speres to score his second try which Richards converted.
Ribb were two scores clear and although Ponte played well, they could not breech the Ribb defence.
The next score came from a Moon turnover. He put in a good tackle, got to his feet, stole the ball and sprinted up to the full back. A simple pass to Alex Naylor enabled him to score under the posts.
At 26-5 the visitors, despite still winning ball, were out of the running.
There was no lack of effort but the visitors knew they were not going to win although Hargreaves and Boyd at half back did work hard although they they could not find a way to pierce the resolute Ribb midfield.
Richards, who led the side with a quiet authority, scored the next try combining with Bolland to surge over near the posts. He also tagged on the conversion.
In the last minute the pacy Angus Carr, in his debut game, scored a good individual try from 40 yards .
It capped a good win against traditionally combative and gritty opponents.
The only cloud on the horizon was the possible career-ending training injury to the talented Tom Stead who is undergoing surgery for a hip and spinal injury.We wish him well.
Ribb have a stern test away at Selby in their first Yorkshire One fixture on Saturday but with a stream of players returning, selection will be very interesting
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