Skipton 2nds 27 Old Crossleyans 8

SKIPTON bounced back from their first West Merit Table defeat of the year with a convincing win at Sandylands in another bruising encounter.

Skipton started strongest and were unlucky not to take the lead 10 minutes when Jamie Barker struck an upright with a penalty from 30 yards.

They didn't have to wait long for their first score though. Scrum half Michael McLachlan placed a beautiful box kick behind the winger and Barker was quickest in the foot race to touch down. The home pack was strong with Tom Harrison and Jordan Wilson repeatedly stealing ball at the line-out where they were lifted by John Firth and Matt Jenkinson.

The second try came when Josh Berrey returned a Crocs clearance kick supported by Luke Daniel who crossed the whitewash to give Skipton a 10-0 lead.

The Crocs opened their account with a penalty just before the break.

Skipton made a few changes for the second half. Jim Wade, Harry Maltby, Tony Spensley, Mal Willsher and Carl Nicholson all entered the fray.

The pack were in dominant form and they kept control of the ball.

When the opportunity arose there were flashes of brilliance from the backs, particularly left winger Berrey.

One of these breaks set the platform for Nicholson to go over in the corner with Alex Baldwin adding the conversion.

As tempers began to flare, Baldwin slotted a penalty from 30 metres.

With 10 minutes left, Simon Lacey and Alex Farquhar were introduced to bring composure to the side but to no avail.

First Mark Davison saw yellow after skipper Lee Shaw lost his cool and was lucky not to see a red card.

Andrew Maclean followed him to the sin-bin two minutes later. The 13 men of Skipton defended bravely but were unable to stop the Crocs' scrum half scoring a try.

The seven-man Skipton pack created the chance for Nicholson to touch down for his second try which Baldwin converted just before the final whistle sounded.

Skipton's next game is against second-placed Bradford & Bingley.