Skipton 10 Bramley Phoenix 22
This match was played in fine and dry conditions although a cool westerly breeze greeted the teams at Sandylands.
Skipton conceded an early penalty to give the visitors a three point lead but the first half saw some solid forward play by the home side against determined opposition, especially from useful utility forwards Ben Hall and Jonny Gane.
Centre Lee Shaw took a hard hit high up early in the game which drew a sharp intake of breath from the crowd as he hit the deck but it would take more than that to put a lad of Shaw’s calibre off his game and he was soon up and making darting runs into the visitors’defence, Scrum half Alex Baldwin was worrying and hassling like a terrier that could smell the fox.
Skipton’s newly-returned winger Owen Higson put in a superb tackle which prevented a breakaway try, which was quickly followed by another excellent tackle from young full back Redver Stork-Flatley, who improves with every game. There then followed a stamping incident at a ruck by Bramley Phoenix which was swiftly dealt with by referee Greban and the culprit issued with a yellow card.
It was against the run of play that the visitors scored a converted try just before the break to establish a 10-0 lead.
It was a real blow for Skipton whose hard-working play was typified by the spirited work of hooker Charlie Brown.
Skipton came close to opening their account when a drop goal attempt hit an upright.
Bramley received their second yellow card from referee Coralie Greban for repeatedly coming in from the side.
A further try was converted to stretch the lead to 22 points and this seemed to spark Skipton to life.
Brown, who had a fine match, led by example all afternoon.
He was rewarded with a well- deserved try after some spirited forward work.
The conversion by Darren Howson, back from injury, fell just short of the posts.
The Skipton back line also played their part with James Ackers, the ever-reliable Andy Maclean and Shaw all to the fore, resulting in a great late try for Skipton by James Ackers who was put away nicely by Andy Maclean.
Brown was the man of the match in what was a spirited performance by all the Skipton team.