North Ribblesdale 46

Old Otliensians 17

NORTH Ribblesdale put in a strong balanced performance to beat a spirited Old Otliensians side in an entertaining Yorkshire Silver Trophy match on Saturday.

Old Otliensians belied their lowly league status at Grove Park, as their inventive backs troubled Ribb at times and if they had not incurred a red card for punching they may well have run Ribb a lot closer.

It was a late burst of scoring that saw Ribb move clear as the burden of playing with 14 men eventually told on the visitors.

Ribb played into the breeze in the first half as the visitors showed their intent from the kick-off by running the ball back at the hosts.

They had some inventive and skilful backs, but Jonny Moore and Ryan Sumner were solid in midfield defence and Otliensians could not get out their own half.

The first score came after ten minutes when the in-form John Padley turned over the ball and a determined burst by Sumner made room on the left for Freddie Howarth, who found space to go over in the corner for an unconverted try.

From the kick-off Ribb controlled the ball, forcing a penalty for offside which Mick Thwaite converted into the wind.

Ribb were soon back in the Otliensians half, then conceded some ground giving away a series of penalties which Otliensians ran back at Ribb.

An unwise fly hack at a loose ball saw it ricochet off the opposition winger and the centre made some ground to release winger Nick Hesketh, who went over on the corner for an unconverted try.

After 25 minutes, Moore made a penetrative burst up the middle, Padley secured the ball and in front of the referee was punched. The offender was shown a red card and took no further part. Mick Thwaite kicked the resultant penalty to put Ribb 8-5 in the lead.

Otliensians still played with spirit and took the game to Ribb, but from a solid scrum on the ten metre line Moore took the ball up, the ruck ball was carried on by Jim Tunney who handed on to Howarth. He sailed over for his second try, which was also converted by Thwaite.

Shortly after, Moore made a clean break to put Nathan Harding in for a try converted by Thwaite.

Unfortunately the kick-off was spilled and Otliensians had a good spell up to half-time culminating in another two tries, one converted, to make the score 22-17.

Ribb had the breeze behind them in the second half and made good use of it in the first ten minutes, engineering another try for Harding after a break by Moore carried on by Speres created the extra man.

After the kick-off a strong run by Tunney, supported by Adam Middleton and Padley, forced an attacking scrum on the visitors' line which Ribb pushed over to put the score at 34-17.

Otliensians had fought hard after the misfortune of losing a man, but this score put the game out of their reach and though they did move the ball well on occasion Ribb were now firmly on top with two further tries by Speres and Mick Thwaite.

Ribb's man of the match was Padley, who was ably supported Tunney and Speres. Moore had another strong game in attack, and Ribb have developed a quick back three with Howarth, Kaup-Samuels and Harding. Kyke Frik also showed pace on his debut as substitute.

Ribb will play Yarnbury in the semi-finals of the Silver Trophy, and this Saturday they are away to Roundhegians.