West Park Leeds 24

North Ribblesdale 26

A SEE-SAW game played in atrocious conditions on a bone hard all weather pitch produced a 26-24 scoreline which would have graced a balmy spring day.

North Ribblesdale scored first after dominating the forward exchanges, then West Park Leeds came back springing open Ribb's normally tenacious midfield defence.

The game carried on like this for the whole 80 minutes with Ribb dominating ground but being kept out by grit and determination and Park quickly turning defence into attack with their fluent and speedy backline counter attacking with pace and determination.

While Ribb did dominate in the forwards, both their productive wingers Amari Kaup-Samuls and Freddie Howarth had a hand in their first try scored by the ebullient Matt Speres.

This game was a credit to both sides on a pitch which is bone hard at the best of times made worse by the freezing rain which gave an ice covered surface giving several player on both sides grazed knees.

It was Mick Thwaites' accurate goal-kicking which gave Ribb the winning edge, negating Park's four tries which did give them bonus points.

Ribb started well, as they won the kick-off and made ground through Ryan Sumner and Jonny Moore.

After six minutes, Speres picked up early from a scrum on the ten metre line, got outside the flanker, brushed off the full back and went over wide out converted with a splendidly judged Thwaite conversion.

From the kick-off, Ribb dominated with powerful running by Speres, Adam Middleton and Jim Tunney, who had a powerful game in attack and defence.

The next 20 minutes had Ribb on the Park 22, dominating the scrum forcing several penalties which Park defended at the cost of several penalties. Thwaite kicked one to give Ribb a 10-0 lead.

Park won the kick-off ball, and a fine break in the centre by Evans got Smithson over out wide with an excellent conversion by Peacock.

After 25 minutes of Ribb dominance, they were only three ahead. This improved when a powerful burst by Sumner released Kaup-Samuels who surged over in the corner unconverted try, but a late penalty by Thwaite gave Ribb an 18-7 half-time lead.

In a second half played in dire conditions, Ribb continued to dominate up front.

Park were dangerous on the break, and an early counter attack brought a penalty by Peacock.

Another raid after a period of Ribb pressure saw Peacock over for a try, which he converted to cut the lead to 18-17.

Ribb won the ball after a massive tackle by Tunney, and a Thwaite penalty made it 21-17.

Ribb did well keeping the ball for long periods, but the awful conditions caused handling errors on both sides.

A dropped speculative kick was scooped up by flanker Gamble and Lee forced his way over for a try converted by Peacock.

For the first time Park were in the lead, and it looked as though they would hold out for the win.

However, Ribb were tenacious. Tunney and Speres carried the kick-off into the 22, and a determined burst by Moore gave enough space for Howarth to score a try, making the final scoreline 26-24 to Ribb.

For the hardy spectators who stood in the freezing rain, the match was a good spectacle. Seven tries, a fine home come back, the lead changing hands and Park's long range counter attacking was worth the admission.

It was a good win on an awful day for rugby; the players from both sides were a credit to their teams on a difficult pitch in appalling conditions.