SKIPTON rounded off the first half of the Yorkshire Three season with a much-improved performance on the previous week which, despite the 28-10 loss at Hemsworth, gave their supporters some encouragement for a turnaround in the side’s fortunes after the Christmas break.

Skipton were understrength, as they were in last week’s 53-0 thrashing at the hands of Harrogate Pythons, and the home side had pace on the wings, but the Reds played with spirit and put in a creditable performance, especially in the second half.

An opening run from Skipton’s skipper Hamish Munro up the slope saw the visitors on Hemsworth’s 22, but a knock-on gave the home side the put-in, and swift hands along the back line saw them in for an early converted try.

Skipton then gained two penalties in the next phase of play for Hemsworth handling on the ground, and Munro clawed back three points with the second of those.

A great drive by Skipton forward Joe Simeon got the visitors downfield, but the ball went into touch and quick hands from the lineout gave Hemsworth a second try under the posts.

A breakaway third try followed and Skipton coach Craig Bartlett soon rang the changes.

A much better period of play by Skipton saw a penalty for Hemsworth not releasing falling just short of the posts, and Hemsworth’s tight head prop receiving their first yellow card of the day for use of the elbow.

The sides turned round at 21-3 in Hemsworth’s favour and Skipton immediately made good use of the slope, gaining a scrum on Hemsworth’s 22 from the restart.

Skipton scrum-half Sam Brearley then had to leave the field with an injured shoulder, being replaced by Darren Greenwood, with Kieran Taylor coming into scrum-half.

A sustained attack from Skipton followed with Simeon putting the visitors downfield. A scrum against the head and a penalty for a Hemsworth high tackle then saw Skipton into the corner.

They gained another penalty and opted for the scrum, but were held upon the line.

Brearley returned to the field and, despite great defensive work, Hemsworth gained a fourth converted try from the lineout.

Hemsworth received their second yellow card for not allowing the tackled player to get up and Skipton took a quick tap and run.

A further penalty ensued and Skipton again opted for the scrum. A break saw Cieran Bartlett brought down just yards short but Simeon bulldozed through to score a well-deserved try.

Munro added the extra points to give a final score of 28-10 in the home side’s favour.