SKIPTON 2nds were edged out by Morley 3rds in a highly-competitive friendly at Sandylanes.

The fixture was agreed beforehand to be a friendly after Skipton were unable to muster a travelling squad, therefore awarding Morley the league points on Thursday when they agreed to reverse the fixture to enable Skipton to play.

The game started strong with some heavy exchanges and numerous penalties going Skipton’s way.

It became clear early on that kicking for territory and line out was not going to be an option as the home side failed to win a single contest in the line during the first half.

Therefore, instruction went out to either tap or scrum, resulting in a slow but exhausting game for both packs in an area that Skipton dominated.

The hosts worked their way forward, grinding out yards in the pack and looked as though a try was coming before a high tackle gave Mat Raw opportunity to get points on the board from his boot, allowing Skipton to go 3-0 up.

This spurred the visitors to react by playing down the line in their own 22 until they broke with a mismatch and then four passes to supporting runners saw them touchdown under the posts to take the lead.

Andy Whitley and Darren Greenwood led the forwards as Skipton marched downfield again and set up camp in the Morley 22.

After six scrums and none of the chances converted, Mike McLachlan spotted a gap at the base of the ruck and wrestled his way to the line for his side's only try.

The sizeable Skipton crowd welcomed club record try scorer George Smithson to the field for the closing minutes of the first half as Skipton led 8-5 at the break.

In contrast the second half was much more like an open fight than just subtle battles in the ruck area, each collision was met with cheers and jeers.

George Hall, Tom Creasey and Ben Mcdermid all made their mark with Andy Whitley absolutely in his element.

For all their efforts, though, Skipton couldn't get out of the 22 and after 20 minutes of solid defence, the visitors finally made the breakthrough to take the advantage.

As the game neared its close, tempers flared more with the visitors being the retaliates to often clean but hard hits.

Aidan Procter, Tom Allsopp and Darren Greenwood were a solid front line causing frustration all game.

Skipton second's next game is in the cup against Guisborough on December 7 at Sandylands.