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Skipton optimistic despite hammering
9:43am Thursday 19th April 2012 in Skipton
Bradford Salem 67 Skipton 0
Skipton captain Darren Howson is already looking towards 2012-13.
Safe from relegation and with a potent first XV when everyone is available, the Reds are excited about working with coach Carl Watts, who has been mentoring Bradford & Bingley under-17s.
A depleted first team, who only had two replacements and finished the game with 13 men due to in-juries, earned praise from promotion-chasing Salem’s director of rugby Craig Busby after a one-sided contest at Shay Lane.
“Skipton deserve great credit for the way they stuck at it,” said Busby, but the match was over as a contest after 11 minutes. Although all concerned, apart from referee Richard Whelan from Wath, agreed that winger Chris Savva’s try in the first minute should have been disallowed because Kris Falwasser’s flick to him went forward, there was no doubt about the scores by Tony Williams and Danny Thomas, which were followed by a penalty try.
It all added up to Salem’s quickest ever four-try bonus point but Skip-ton then enjoyed a period of pressure in Salem’s half.
Centre Jonathan Richards scy-thed through Salem’s right-hand defence in the 23rd minute but left winger Gavin Ackers-Johnson could not capitalise.
Howson, who played for Salem in 1999-2000, almost went over on the half-hour but Salem finished the stanza with tries by John Bradbury and Thomas to lead 38-0, centre Jonny Robinson having added four conversions.
Skipton’s scrum, which had gone backwards at a rate of knots at times in the first half, looked much more solid in the second half but by the 56th minute the scrums were uncontested as hooker Jordan Emm-ison and prop Paul Shearer had left the field injured, as had full back Alex Naylor and Richards.
However, the plucky visitors de-nied Salem a try until the 58th minute, Williams scoring again, and Savva, winger Amesh Ahir, Thomas and influential centre Matt Sreel completed the rout with tries, Rob-inson adding two more conversions.
Explaining the shortage of men, Howson said; “We only had 26 registered players available and we had a couple of injuries last week, which has been the story of our run-in this season.
“We also had a couple of cry-offs on Saturday morning, as well as the injuries during the game, but the lads who came in from the second team did a job.
“The game was decided by the 11th minute but we are safe from relegation and are looking forward to next season under Carl Watts, who is a Skipton lad.”
It was 12 seasons since Howson was at Shay Lane but the 33-year-old said: “It was good to see the likes of Craig Buxton, Neil Klenk, Simon Markey, John Morrell and Jonny and Dave Luxton again.”
Fourth-from-bottom Skipton wrap up their season on Saturday with another derby – at home to Leodien-sians. who are four places higher in seventh.