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Moon beams after scoring match-winning try for North Ribblesdale
North Ribblesdale 28 Dinnington 22
North Ribblesdale snatched victory with a 70-yard interception try from Steve Moon after being under the cosh for much of the match.
Dinnington must have spent the trip home to South Yorkshire wondering how they lost the game.
Their forwards carried the ball very well and the backline showed a fluency which is not often seen at this level, but they could not breakdown the solid home defence.
The midfield trio of Moon, Jonathan Richards and Will Davidson did sterling work to strangle Dinnington’s attacks, while Chris Heap and Nathan Dakin won turn over ball at key moments.
Ribb had sporadic periods of pressure and scored from them whereas Dinninton had long periods of attack which yielded tries for Russell Winters, Tyle Stimpson and Jonny West, but should have produced much more.
Ribb, who kicked off towards the clubhouse, found themselves starved of possession for the first ten minutes and even when they did start to win some ball they found themselves being penalised.
Dinnington took the lead when their big and mobile pack won ruck ball which enabled Stimpson to stroll over for a try.
From the restart Dinnington seized possession and put Ribb under pressure. The ball was driven by the forwards and Ribb conceded a penalty.
The visitors spurned the chance to go for goal and kicked for the corner. From the resultant line-out Winters was driven over for a try.
Despite being under pressure, Ribb battled hard but suffered a setback when skipper Mick Carr suffered a serious knee injury. He was replaced by the ebullient Ryan Kirkbride, who had a fine game.
Ribb dusted themselves off and started to garner some possession. They were hampered by a game-long addiction to handling the ball on the ground.
Although they did turn over a few balls this had to be set against sin-binnings for Moon and Russell Ingham.
Ribb were 12-0 down after 15 minutes, but by half-time they had reduced the deficit to 12-9. Jonathan Richards kicked two penalties as the Ribb pack set about their job.
They wanted to know if Dinnington were as good on the retreat as they were going forward, and the answer was they weren’t.
Ribb put pressure on Dinn- ington started giving away pen- alties to give Ribb some field position.
Sam Boatwright and Ingham are a fine pair of second rows as they can carry the ball and defend. They deliver good line-out ball and their work in the tight is evidenced by a pushover try and a penalty try. Together with the Ribb front row they form a formidable scrum.
Towards the end of the first half Ribb were starting to dominate the set piece and this pressure got them into the Dinninton half. A penalty was conceded on the 22, but Moon played the advantage and dropped a goal. A margin of three points at the break was a reward for Ribb’s tenacity.
The second half saw Ribb play to their strength in the tight which saw them rolling the Dinnington forwards back. They also picked and drove with effect and started to get parity of possesion.
However, it was Dinnington who scored first in the second half with a penalty by West for handling, The same player also scored a try which he converted to put clear water between Dinnington and Ribb at 22-12.
Dinnington appeared to have regained their earlier dominance, but the Ribb pack soon seized the initiative and istarted to dominate.
After conceding a penalty Dinnington were driven into the corner where they conceded a scrum from the line-out. Ribb were rampant and drove over for player-coach Hayden Viles to steal the touchdown from Kirkbride.
Ribb were straight back on the attack from the kick off courtesy of a drive from Kirkbride. Fast hands put Simon Bolland away and when he was eventually halted by the full back, the Ribb back row forced another close-range scrum. Dinnington capitulated and a penalty try was given to make it 22-21.
It is to Dinnington’s credit that they did not close the game down and pressed for a decisive score Ribb were no longer on the back foot. Ben Mitchell burst through in the centre only to be stopped by the Dinnington full back.
The crucial score came when Moon seized on a loose pass deep in his own half. Showing pace and an astute change of direction he went in under the posts for a try which Richards converted.
Dinnington did come back but ran out of time in a great game of rugby for the spectators which produced the added bonus of a home win.
It may have been fortunate as Ribb gave away a lot of penalties but it was a win based on terrific defence and a pack which grew stronger as the game went on.
The lesson to be learned from this game is that Dinnington would have won easily if their goal kicking was as good as the rest of their game. Ribb give far too many penalties away and must cure this failing.
l North Ribblesdale’s second team were leading by 17-3 in their Merit Table game at Aireborough when a serious hip injury to Sam Allsop caused the match to be abandoned.