Skipton 43 Leeds Modernians 7

SKIPTON were back to full strength for their latest Yorkshire 3 encounter and secured an emphatic seven try victory over Leeds Modernians in blizzard conditions at Sandylands.

They included Malcolm Willsher in their line up. The second row had played earlier in the day, in a memorial game for his wife Jodie, who was murdered in Aldi last December. His brothers Rick and John also took part in this league clash.

The home side kicked off with the wind behind them and their forward dominance was soon evident as they pushed Modernians off the first scrum. A Harry McEneaney drive put the ball down the back line, but the last pass went astray.

Skipton then suffered their only setback of the game when a recurring ankle injury forced scrum-half Jonathan Kulik to leave the field. He was replaced by Shaun Barraclough.

From a scrum five metres out, flanker John Willsher was adjudged to have been held up. However, Skipton made no mistake with the re-set scrum and another McEneaney drive put stand-off Adam Oldfield over for an unconverted try.

Skipton gained a penalty in the next phase of play and they tapped and ran. A great forward drive by skipper Chris Wright and McEneaney put winger George Smithson clear for try number two. Full-back Lee Neha added the extra points.

Mal Willsher stole the ball at the next line-out and quick hands in the back line put stalwart centre Liam Jordan over for Skipton's third try, Neha again adding the extra points.

As the half drew to a close, an interception by Modernians put their outside-centre clear, with only a last-gasp tap tackle by Smithson preventing a try. The sides therefore turned round at 19-0 in Skipton's favour.

As the blizzard swept in again during the second half, Oldfield went over for his second try. The conversion attempt went wide in the strong wind but Skipton had secured the bonus league point.

Coach Craig Bartlett then brought Jordan Wilson into the pack and James Akers onto the wing. A quick tap penalty by the home side saw the ball move swiftly across the field, with Jordan feeding full-back Neha for try number five.

Forwards Harry Maltby and Ryan Binner came on and helped the Skipton pack to take three successive scrums against the head, before Modernians countered with a late try under the posts.

A break by McEneaney from the re-start put Neha clear for his second try, which he converted himself. Maltby rounded off Skipton's tally with their seventh try from another McEneaney break, with Neha again adding the extra points.

Skipton are set for another home league clash against Sheffield Medicals this Saturday.