Skipton 22

Bradford & Bingley 2nds 20

SKIPTON progressed to the next round of the Aire-Wharfe Cup in a close and fiercely contested game that saw beat Bradford & Bingley 2nds 22-20 at Sandylands last week.

The home side had forward dominance in the scrum throughout but Bradford & Bingley had pace, strength and experience in their back line.

Skipton set their stall out early, with a scrum against the head putting stand-off Darren Howson over, only to be held up on the line.

They easily took the scrum back five metres out and No 8 Harry McEneaney was over for the home side's opening try. Howson added the extra points.

Skipton were straight back from the re-start and whilst the line-out was lost from a penalty kick into the corner, the home side gained a penalty for the visitors going over the top at the break down. Howson slotted the kick to stretch their lead to 10 nil.

Skipton won a scrum against the head in the next period of play, but a penalty to the visitors put them into the corner and a cross field move from the line-out saw them over for a converted try.

Bradford & Bingley exerted extreme pressure on the home side from the re-start.

Skipton kept them out three times but, with the half-time whistle appearing never to come, the visitors were over at the fourth attempt for a second converted try on the stroke of half-time.

An early penalty in the second half to Bradford & Bingley for a Skipton high tackle was converted to stretch the visitors lead.

Skipton coach Craig Bartlett sent forwards Charlie Brown and Jordan Wilson and winger Jamie Carroll on for the second half.

A Bradford & Bingley penalty for the Skipton tackler not releasing the ball carrier when he was on his knees was slotted to stretch the visitors' lead to 20-10.

Skipton scrum-half Jack McLeod broke from the breakdown after the re-start and a Bradford & Bingley knock-on gave the home side the scrum five metres out.

McLeod was over for try number two and Howson added the extra points.

Back row Mark Davison joined the pack and, from an incisive run, put winger Hamish Munro away for Skipton's third try. The conversion attempt was not successful but Skipton had taken the lead.

Skipton centre Ben Ross gained turn over ball from the re-start but a penalty to Bradford & Bingley for Skipton not rolling away gave them a chance at goal. The kick drifted wide.

A penalty to Skipton for a visitors' off-side was put into the corner.

The clock had ticked down and when Skipton were awarded a further penalty they punted the ball into touch to record a 22-20 victory to the delight of the home crowd.