10:23am Thursday 29th March 2012
A nice Summer’s afternoon greeted the double decker bus full of Skipton supporters who made the 30-mile trip to Ripon.
Skipton kicked off up the small slope and were straight into the Ripon side.
Lessons had been learnt from the previous week’s performance against Yarnbury and Skipton were wide awake from the start.
Their early pressure paid dividends when they were awarded a penalty wide out which Alex Naylor duly converted to establish a 3-0 lead.
From the re-start Ripon were also awarded a penalty but it went wide as did their second attempt shortly after.
Skipton’s pack were exerting good pressure and were camped inside Ripon’s 22 when the game reached the half-hour mark.
The forwards won a scrum and Skipton’s scrum half Michael Smith, was quickest to react to score a well-taken try. Naylor’s conversion failed, and the half-time score remained 8-0.
The Reds suffered another injury blow in the second half when Tom Keady took a knock to his leg and was replaced by young Jordan Emmison.
His introduction resulted in Chris Sheehan going to prop. This was a fine game to watch with both sides showing promising moves.
Ripon finally iopened their account when a great move from their threequarters resulted in a try near the posts which was also converted.
Not to be outdone, Skipton’s backs restored the points difference fairly rapidly with Scott Kay, Jonny Moore and David Wilkinson sending Jon- athon Richards in near the posts for a try. Naylor converted to give Skipton a 15-7 lead.
The only other score of the match was a penalty from Ripon to leave Skipton worthy winners 15-10.
All of the Skipton players deserved great credit for their tireless tackling which enabled them to keep the rampant Ripon pack at bay in the last five minutes of the match.
Skipton followers were glad to see winger Liam Ray back after ten weeks recovering from injury.
Second rows John Grayston and Tom Creasey also shone with their great commitment.
The Reds are home Moortown on Saturday (3pm).
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