Skipton 18

Burley 33

A PACKED Sandylands saw a spirited Skipton go down 33-18 in the Aire-Wharfe Cup final to a well drilled and pacey Burley.

However, the home side received a standing ovation for a determined performance, taking the game to the opposition right up to the final whistle.

The visitors kicked off, but strong forward play by Skipton pinned them back in their own 22, with back row Harry McEneaney disrupting the ball at the base of the scrum.

A break by Skipton captain Hamish Munro at full-back ended in a penalty to Burley at the break down. A further penalty to the visitors quickly followed.

They put the ball into the corner and drove over from the line-out for their opening try. The touch line conversion attempt was successful.

A great take by Skipton from the re-start gave them hard-fought yards, but an interception from a loose off-load gave Burley a second converted try.

Determined defence by Skipton in the next period of play kept Burley at bay, with James Akers on the wing putting his man into touch and second-row Harry Maltby stealing the ball at the line-out.

Eventually, a kick and chase from defence by Munro put winger Jack McLeod through and he was over for Skipton's opening try. The well struck conversion attempt by centre Joe Gill fell just short of the bar.

A knock-on by Burley from the re-start gave Skipton the scrum and great driving play took them into Burley's 22.

Another knock-on gave Skipton a further scrum and scrum-half Adam Oldfield was over, but was adjudged to have been held up.

A Burley interception spoiled the move from the scrum back but Skipton recovered and great handling was rewarded with a penalty mid-field for Burley not releasing.

Gill slotted the kick to claw back three points and the sides turned round at 14-8 to the visitors.

A good start to the second half with strong forward play gained Skipton a further penalty for Burley holding on.

Gill again made sure of the kick to bring the home side within three points, but driving play from the re-start saw Burley over for converted try number three.

The sides swapped penalties and each took a scrum against the head in the next phase of play, but an off-load against the run of play gave the visitors a fourth converted try to stretch their lead to 28-11.

Despite great Skipton defence, a period of sustained pressure by Burley was rewarded with a fifth try, but the conversion attempt drifted wide.

A great break by McLeod resulted in a yellow card for Burley repeatedly disrupting play at the break down.

Skipton opted for the scrum and McEneaney was over for Skipton's second try. Gill added the extra points.

From a great re-start return, Skipton stand-off Darren Howson chipped through for Akers to chase. Skipton gained the line-out but a dropped ball ended the play.

Skipton gained two late penalties as they kept up the pressure on Burley. They put the ball into the corner but couldn't cross the line and the Aire-Wharfe Cup went to Burley with a final score of 33-18 in their favour.