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Skipton pay for lapses as they slide to away defeat
Hullensians 35 Skipton 7
Following an enforced break due to the freezing weather, Skipton travelled to Hull- ensians, who sit comfortably in the top third of the league.
An accident on the M62 motorway ensured that Skipton’s pre-match warm up was curtailed somewhat, to facilitate the match commencing at the scheduled time.
The majority of the first half was a tight-fought affair, as Hullensians developed multiple phases of attacking rugby, which was repelled by a well-co-ordinated aggressive defence by Skipton, spearheaded by the attrition of flanker Dave Wellock at the contact area.
In attack Skipton lacked an effective strategy to break the organised Hullensians defensive line, and thus phases were limited, resulting in possession being kicked away.
Only rarely was quick ball distributed into the outside channels where more space and a less robust defence was prevalent.
However, for all their attacking possession Hull- ensians had only amassed two penalties – both as a result of overzealous line speed by the Skipton defence – and after 38 minutes, a relatively unpressured kick into the Skipton 22' was not despatched safely resulting in an interception try.
This was converted making the interval score 13-0 in favour of the home side.
From the commencement of the second half failings at the Skipton set piece, assisted Hullensians to deliver the knockout blow.
They ran in three quick tries in ten minutes, all scored as a result of bringing runners onto the ball at pace, with multiple support players who benefited from a precise off-loading strategy.
Skipton engineered sufficient possession and territory to be awarded two penalty kicks which were not converted, however after 70 minutes Hullensians registered their fifth try.
In the final moments of the game Skipton finally registered on the scoresheet.
Several close-quarter drives by the forwards near the Hullensians line, enabled Darren Howson to set up a try for impressive substitute centre Michael Smith.
He sidestepped through the narrowest of gaps, resulting in an unchallenged try under the posts which was duly converted.
As through the majority of the season, Skipton’s downfall was due to a lack of concentration and application for a relatively brief period of time that enabled the opposition to ultimately determine the outcome of the game.
The positives from the performance were Dave Well- ock’s combative play on the edge at the tackle area, Tom Keady’s willingness to carry the ball, and the form of substitutes George Hall and Michael Smith who brought a ruthless edge to proceedings.
This ruthless edge will be required by all to ensure that the next four home games produce some bounty for Skipton.