Baildon 10

Skipton 15

SKIPTON were back to 90 per cent availability after the New Year hiccup and returned to winning ways with 15-10 victory at a cold and windswept Jenny Lane, Baildon.

The visitors kicked off uphill into a very strong wind and were soon in Baildon's 22.

An early penalty to the home side for Skipton holding on at the ruck gave them the chance to punt the ball down field, a tactic they repeated to pin Skipton back.

Despite great defence by the Skipton forwards, Baildon were eventually awarded a penalty five metres out. They opted for the scrum and were over for the opening score of the game.

The re-start kick went straight out giving Baildon the scrum back and Skipton coach Craig Bartlett brought Sam Stewart and Chris Wright in to the front row to stabilise the scrum.

Baildon won the scrum and went to punt the ball down field again but a charge down and chip through by centre Jamie Barker gave Skipton their first try. The conversion attempt went astray in the wind.

Skipton hooker Ryan Chafer had to leave the field in the next phase of play with an ankle injury and Baildon gained three successive penalties for Skipton handling on the ground. The third was within kickable range and they converted to stretch their lead.

Skipton winger Jamie Carroll collected the re-start kick and took the ball into Baildon's 22.

A wide pass to the outside went astray but a second charge down and chip through, by skipper Hamish Munro, gave the visitors a second try. Stand-off Yvarne Carroll added the extra points.

The re-start kick went straight over the dead ball line in the wind giving Skipton the scrum back, from which they gained a penalty but the quick tap and run was contained by Baildon and the sides turned round at 12-10 in Skipton's favour.

Despite the wind and slope advantage to the visitors, Baildon retained the lion's share of possession after the break and two penalties put them into Skipton's 22.

Excellent defence by Skipton and superb turn-over ball by forward Charlie Brown put Skipton back down field.

Baildon would not give up and continued to attack the Skipton line. The pivotal moment of the game came when the home side had a one man overlap on the left wing and a try threatened, but a crunching textbook tackle by Skipton winger Andy Maclean ended the move.

Skipton were awarded two late penalties for Baildon handling on the ground. The first kick went wide but Yvarne Carroll made sure with the second to stretch Skipton's lead.

The re-start kick again went straight out in the wind but it was of no consequence. Time had run out and Skipton had earned a well-deserved win.