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Disappointing home defeat for Ribb
North Ribblesdale 26 Heath 33
After scoring their first away win of the season at Ilkley, North Ribblesdale failed to deliver the perfect finale to their season as they suffered a home defeat.
Not for the first time this season Ribb dropped the kick off and this led to a period of 15 minutes of severe Heath pressure.
This was finally relieved when Ribb won a scrum against the head and that gave them a platform to attack.
With both sides defending stoutly a high-scoring game looked unlikely, but one materialised.
Heath broke the deadlock when their right winger made a clean break to go in next to the posts for a converted try.
Ribb continued to defend with Heath having most of the play and possession.
John Thwaite concluded the first half scoring when a rare Ribb attacking line-out freed him to burst over wide out.
Heath scored a converted try right at the start of the second half to go 12-4 up.
Ribb pressure from the restart forced a penalty but they missed the shot at goal.
Heath were pouring through gaps in Ribb’s midfield and good handling put their inside centre in for another try.
Heath looked to have sealed the game when another clean break put their left winger in for an unconverted try.
Ribb were showing commendable tenacity and started to get the better of and getting the the forward battle.
Skipper Dan Watson made a good break and handed on to David Fox who scored a good try which Watson converted.
Robb Hayes came into the line and made an electric run full of pace and swerve but Heath scrambled the ball away.
But Ribb were not to be denied. Dean Stacey won a good line-out and Mick Carr put Thwaite in for his second try.
Another converted try for Heath looked to have ended the Ribb revival, but the home side were not finished.
A series of attacking scrums on Heath’s line saw the visitors penalised three times.
Eventually Ribb moved the ball away. Ashley Whaites took it forward and Fox was on hand for his second try which was converted by Watson to finish the scoring.
This has been a hard season for Ribb. They have lost a lot of players not least their influential forward James Dugdale and the rock solid back Simon Chapman while Steve Moon and Simon Bolland are in New Zealand.
In all they have used 43 players this season and have done well to come through a torrid last half of the season.
Watson has done a good job as captain but this was his last game. he will be missed.