North Ribblesdale 16 Acklam 3

North Ribblesdale made hard work of defeating rock-bottom Acklam in a dour Yorkshire Division One match at Grove Park.

They were indebted to man of the match Steven Moon who kicked three penalties and a conversion as well as making a crucial try-saving tackle on John Baines.

Acklam squandered a number of penalty chances which could have made the outcome a lot closer before Danny Ashton belatedly found his range in the second half.

Ribb were disjointed after having to make eight changes. They had to field a young back three and a lightweight back row where the presence of the experienced Mick Carr was welcome.

The home side used the powerful Ashley Whaites, ideally suited to the heavy conditions, to make ground up the middle, but they were unable to capitalise fully on his work.

Acklam had more than their share of possession and territory, particularly in the first half.

Thankfully for North Ribblesdale they were severely handicapped by their poor line-out throwing which meant they were unable to make the most of the towering partnership of Tim Savage and Ryan Kirkbride.

Acklam were the brighter side in the opening ten minutes before Ribb roused themselves with a strong burst from Josh McFarlane which took them into the visitors’ half.

Although possession was sluggish, Moon freed Ben Mitchell who made it into the 22 where Acklam were caught offside.

Moon kicked the penalty to open the scoring.

Ribb made their customary hash of the kick off and Acklam were given a penalty which Ashton missed There was another let off for Ribb minutes later when Andy Dalton seized on a loose kick and put Marcus Sudron and Baines clear.

A try looked inevitable until Moon appeared out of nowhere and tackled him into touch on the line.

Ribb won the resultant line-out and cleared the danger. They followed up by winning two Acklam line-outs and worked their way downfield.

The pressure resulted in them winning a penalty under the posts which Moon converted for a 6-0 lead.

Ribb were a lot better in the second half. They had the advantage of the strong wind and Moon used it to push the visitors back.

The scrum was already achieving dominance when an injury to Ethan Henare brought Luke Mellin on in the unaccustomed tighthead berth with veteran John Thwaite moving across to hooker.

This increased the pressure on Acklam at the scrum in the final 15 minutes of the game.

A good break from Will Thwaite enticed another Acklam indiscretion and Moon took the three points on offer with his third penalty success.

After failing in their attempts to run a penalty, Acklam went for goal when a second was awarded to them and Ashton sent his kick sailing between the uprights.

The game was effectivley over when a defensive error after a good kick by Moon allowed speedy Angus Carr to motor away for a try which Moon converted.

John Paddley and Andrew Thwaite played well in the back row while Nathan Dakin had a good game.

Prop Whaites relished the heavy conditions while McFarlane was solid in defence.

Sam Allsop introduced some vigour when he came on in the second half.

Ribb play Bridlington away this Saturday.