Yorkshire Division Two: Roundhegians 34 North Ribblesdale 25

NORTH Ribblesdale lost 34-25 at a Roundhegians side who belied their lowly league position to out-muscle their opponents on their way to victory and two bonus points.

Scores came at regular intervals for both sides but Ribb's margin of defeat would have been greater but for some poor penalty penalties by the hosts, who missed four easy kicks.

Like previous matches, Ribb's game plan was to crash the set piece ball up the middle but Roundhegians have a very big pack so pace on the flanks might have made things more difficult for them.

Roundhegians pushed an early penalty wide from under the posts and that let off stirred Ribb into a sharp response.

They got the ball out to Matt Speres, who burst through a ruck of players, before a crisp pass to the speeding Freddy Howarth saw him beat the cover to go over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Roundhegians came back strongly and a blindside break put them in to score. An excellent conversion gave them a lead of two points.

Ribb then won a penalty from a lineout and Mick Thwaite converted it to give them the lead at 8-7. They were on the back foot from the restart though and were penned into their own half, but were let off twice by missed penalties.

They were also fortunate when a forward pass under the posts prevented a score but Roundhegians did eventually grab an unconverted try right on half-time to take the lead.

After the interval, Ribb were pushed back into their own half and Roundhegians knocked over a penalty.

Ribb were straight back on the attack. A break by Jonny Moore created space for Mick Thwaite on the left. He pushed the ball past the defence and Nathan Harding picked up to score a converted try to make it 15-15.

There was an immediate response from Roundhegians, who scored a converted try under the posts by to put themselves 22 -15 ahead.

An offside Roundhegians defence was punished by a Mick Thwaite penalty but then came the turning point in the match.

Roundhegians were attacking and knocked the ball on. The referee played advantage but Ribb also knocked on. Instead of a Ribb scrum for the first offence, Roundhegians got the scrum and they worked the ball wide right to score in the corner.

That put them 29-18 in front but Ribb clawed their way back and a converted try by Andy Thwaite from a ruck gave them a glimmer of hope at 29-25.

In the last five minutes, a loose kick gave the home side another opportunity and they scored a late unconverted try to finally put a pulsating contest to bed.