North Ribblesdale 22

Northallerton 8

AFTER a resilient first half performance, North Ribblesdale dominated the second half to beat Northallerton 22-8 in atrocious conditions at Grove Park on Saturday.

The most telling factor in the game was Ribb's scrum dominance, which denied Northallerton's big forward driving game.

Although the visitors' line-out functioned well, they were constantly going back in the scrum.

In the second half, the dominant Ribb eight took charge and although the conditions were against flowing rugby, Ribb managed to get both wingers, Freddie Howarth and Amari Kaup-Samuels away on a couple of occasions.

Matthew Speres and Jim Tunney were dominant in the loose, Ryan Sumner made some bruising bursts in the centre, but it was Ribb's front row who were the biggest factor in the game.

As Ribb were playing away from the clubhouse into a stiff showery breeze, Northallerton started strongly in the first quarter with their big forwards crashing into the midfield, retaining ball and putting it behind the Ribb defence.

Their first score came from a deep kick. The attempted touch was charged down and a series of drives made space for winger Metcalf to go over in the corner for an unconverted try. They then kicked a penalty on the half hour to take an 8-0 lead.

However, the Ribb scrum put the visitors under pressure. A scrum penalty was put deep, Ribb drove from the line-out and forced an attacking scrum, and Speres forced his way over a for an unconverted try.

Soon after, Nathan Harding worked Kaup-Samuels clear on a wide blind side. He got around his man, kicked over the full back and only a good tackle by the blindside winger saved a score.

Ribb made the visitors pack work hard to secure the ball and the Ribb midfield defence pressured the Northallerton centres so they could not move the ball.

Going into half-time at 8-5 down with a strengthening breeze carrying heavy showers, things looked positive for Ribb.

The second half weather deteriorated with several long showers, and Northallerton did not relish the conditions.

The Ribb eight did, and judicious kicking by Harding kept Northallerton in their own half. They only made three brief visits to the Ribb 22, but their big forwards were well tackled by Jonny Moore, Sumner, Speres, Tunney and substitute Booth.

Harding put the ball deep, and after Northallerton cleared to the 22, Ribb drove the line-out to the line and Peter Cook darted over for a try converted by Mick Thwaite.

From the kick-off, the ball was cleared to Sumner who made a trademark burst into the 22. Northallerton were off-side, and Thwaite converted a penalty to give Ribb a 15-8.

Speres ran the kick-off back into the home 22, and although a series of scoring attempts by the pack were held out, the ball was moved to Sumner who burst over for a try converted by Thwaite.

At 22-8 in very poor conditions, Northallerton made one brief foray into the Ribb 22 but they were easily held out.

Ribb have a tough game this Saturday at West Park, who are fourth place in Yorkshire Two.