North Ribblesdale 24

Goole 12

NORTH Ribblesdale took a notable scalp on Saturday, putting in a strong performance to defeat previously unbeaten Goole 24-12.

But after dominating for 60 minutes, Ribb looked shaky in the last 20 minutes, but their defence held out and they won what was an excellent victory in a free-flowing game for which credit should go to the referee whose sympathetic handling let the game flow.

Playing into the win, Ribb started well confidently fielding the kick off and sensibly kept the ball in hand, with Jonny Moore making the first of several penetrative drives in the centre. Moore and the versatile Matt Speres are forming a strong centre partnership, are tenacious in defence and both capable of making line breaks.

The scrum and line-out were solid, and after the first ten minutes Mick Thwaite kicked a penalty for offside.

Ribb kept the ball from the kick-off and kept on their carrying game, with Ribb's back row winning loose ball an opportunity was created on the right after a drive by Ray Fromm good handling gave an overlap with Omari Kaup-Samuels swerving outside and sprinting home under the posts to give an easy conversion for a 10-0 lead.

Ribb knocked on an awkward kick and Goole had their best period of possession bringing their big back row into the game, and showed what a good attacking side they are with several good moves. But their biggest attacking potential was in the centre and these were nullified by the tremendous tackling of Moore and Speres. John Padley was first to the loose ball which slowed second phase possession for Goole.

Goole got a reward on 30 minutes when they kicked a penalty, but Ribb scored almost from the restart when a strong burst from Moore carried on by Speres forced a ruck on the Goole line, which Moore was on hand to burrow over for a try, converted by Thwaite.

From the kick-off Ribb were on the attack and created another overlap with four against two defenders on the right, but a futile grubber kick gifted the ball to the opposition.

Up 17-3 at half-time with the wind behind them in the second half, Ribb were in a strong position. But a combination of injuries and woeful decision making meant Ribb only got a single further try, the product of a powerful 30 yard burst by substitute Adam Middleton who brought size, speed and athleticism into the Ribb pack.

Ribb bombed three chances, which put them under pressure in the last quarter of the game.

The first opportunity came from a counter attack from a loose kick by Goole, the carrier had time and space but ran sideways cutting off the space for three men outside him and the chance was lost.

Ten minutes earlier Nathan Harding had broken from full back to the line but a moment of indecision meant a score was lost.

In the last minute, a furious Ribb onslaught on the Goole posts created an overlap on the right but poor decision making lost the ball and cost Ribb a bonus point.

The match was entertaining from start to finish, and Goole, who were unbeaten in the league, were a notable scalp for Ribb.

Speres and Moore were again excellent in defence and attack and were the rock on which the win was based.