North Ribblesdale 5 Dinnington 24
There was a time when North Ribb-lesdale would have relished the current wet and muddy conditions.
In the past they would have muscled their way up the pitch, kept play tight and kicked their goals.
The current side shows plenty of effort and endeavour but is getting outmuscled as it lacks sheer bulk.
Table-topping Dinnington are a big and powerful side who play in a very direct manner.
In contrast, Ribb have their best back line for some years and even in the mud they showed flashes of what they can do.
Their try by Jonathan Richards was an illustration of their ability. Ryan Gill made a very spirited run from halfway which was carried on by Alex Naylor and Mick Carr before Richards applied the finish.
Ribb also had two tries disallowed and were made to pay dearly for some sloppy play when Dinnington raced away from their own 22 to score an interception try. It was a disappointing score to concede.
On a windy afternoon, Ribb were soon under under pressure as they lost the first two line-outs.
Ribb weathered the early storm but the pressure being exerted by the forceful Dinnington side soon told.
They won a penalty which was taken quickly and after Tom Dou-ghty had drawn the defence he popped the ball to Marlon Miller who scored by the posts. Jonny West added the conversion.
They were soon back using the kick-off possesion to drive up the middle to release the ball wide out for John Marshall to score an unconverted try.
Then came one of Ribb’s better spells. Richards and Johnny Moore combined well in the middle and a threatening move turned into a score for the visitors when a totally unnecessary pass was intercepted and Neceedo Pietersen raced away.
He ran under the posts but instead of touching down he waited to gift the try to West who also added the conversion.
With Dinnington leading 19-0 and ten minutes to go to half-time, the game looked over.
Ribb however took play back into the Dinnington half against the wind and Nathan Dakin got over.
The Dinnington touch judge thought it was a try as he went under the posts but the distant referee didn’t, and ruled that the Ribb player had been held up.
A score then would have made a big difference, but three scores down at half time like at Ilkley the week before, was too much.
Ribb were the better side in the second half but their recent matches have shown a problem in converting pressure into points.
Ribb overuse their forwards coming round the corner. The execution of the tactic is too slow so they should think about releasing their backs earlier.
They also need to adapt their tactics in windy conditions. They kicked possession away when playing into the wind and chose to run the ball when they had the chance to kick for territory in the second half.
Ribb did get their consolation try and had another score disallowed but Dinnington snatches a breakaway try from Will Marshall at the end to complete the scoring.
Ribb must be praying for a change in the weather as the current muddy conditions do not suit them.
Ribb are at home to Scarborough on Saturday needonga win to break a depressing sequence of results.