Bridlington 18 North Ribblesdale 10
North Ribblesdale were left feeling under the weather after their hopes of an away win were blown away on a stormy visit to the East Coast.
The wind and rain got so bad that the referee took the teams off twice.
Brid won because they played the conditions better.
Ribb scored a sparkling try which would have been memorable on a bone-hard track rather than a sea of mud, but it wasn’t enough.
Perhaps the outcome would have been different if they bombed a try in the first half.
Winger Simon Bolland made a break but could not find the unmarked Josh McFarlane outside him.
Ribb plusses were a memorable big hit by Ethan Henare, a tidy game for Peter Cook in difficult conditions on his second start and a dominant scrum.
Ribb started well into a strong wind and were on the attack immediately.
The forwards carried well and they kept Brid in their own 22 but after Bolland’s effort they lost a bit of momentum.
Brid used the wind shrewdly to get into Ribb’s half where they opened the scoring with a penalty.
When Ribb took play into the home 22 they were awarded a penalty which Steven Moon converted to level the scores.
When Ribb transgressed to give the Brid another shot at goal, the kicker called for a team-mate to hold the ball.
In the increasing gale they could not keep the ball upright and when a hailstorm was accompanied by a crack of thunder, the referee took the players off the field.
No sooner were they back on than they were off again.
Eventually the penalty was taken and missed.
Turning round level at 3-3, Ribb had good reason to fancy their chances as they expected the conditions to be in their favour.
Unfortunately for Ribb the wind changed direction and the home side made the most of their good fortune.
With Ribb starting to lose scrum and line-out ball, they also started to give away penalties.
The home side used these to kick deep into the 22.
The Ribb defence held up well until one of the home props forced his way over for a converted try.
The pressure continued as Brid used a short-passing game to batter away at the visitors’ defence.
Ribb did turn some ball over but their attempts to play rugby in a quagmire were difficult and they lost the ball which Brid used to drive them back.
Another penalty saw them on their own line again and eventually the powerful prop got over for an unconverted try.
Ribb were not throwing the towel in and were rewarded with an outstanding try.
Brid turned the ball over and put a kick behind Bolland.
The winger turned and beat a tackler before advancing 30 metres into the Brid half.
Whe he was tackled by the full back Matt Speres was on hand and the ball went along the back line with Johnny Moore giving the final pass to Nathan Dakin.
Moon’s conversion reduced the deficit to six points and it looked as if Ribb had secured a bonus point but they were harshly penalised for holding on at the restart and Bridlington converted the penalty to deny them.