Wensleydale 17

North Ribblesdale 26

NORTH Ribblesdale overcame a powerful Wensleydale side who had beaten the Yorkshire Two league leaders the week before.

The win for the Settle side was based on forward dominance and watertight defence.

Ribb played with the wind in the first half and had a 23-10 lead at the break, but suffered two yellow cards in quick succession with John Padley and Mick Thwaite in the bin for the start of the second half. Crucially though, they did not concede a score with 13 men.

From the start, Ribb were on top in the scrum, forcing Wensleydale to concede three scrum penalties in the first ten minutes allowing Mick Thwaite to kick an early goal.

Ribb then took control with Adam Middleton and Andy Thwaite both stealing opposition line-out ball.

A disciplined Ribb used the wind well, and when a scrum penalty was put in the corner by Mick Thwaite, Ribb drove the line-out with Adam Stubbs getting the first try which was converted by Mick Thwaite in a tricky cross wind.

Wensleydale struggled to win the set-piece ball and continued to concede penalties allowing Ribb to keep pressure on in the home half.

After 25 minutes, Mick Thwaite kicked a penalty followed five minutes later by another one to give the visitors a 13-0 lead.

Ribb continued on the offensive with Mick Carr carrying well. After a stirring run he was brought down on the 10-metre line and Ribb took the ball forward with a maul.

This was halted, but Padley saw a gap and burst out of the ruck to sprint 30 metres to score under the posts converted by Mick Thwaite.

Almost from the kick-off, Wensleydale were caught offside and Mick Thwaite kicked another penalty.

Wensleydale took the game to Ribb in the last two minutes of the first half and scored a good converted try in the corner. Padley was penalised with a yellow card for the tackle on the try scorer.

Ribb kicked off and incurred another yellow card when Mick Thwaite was penalised for a high tackle

They were, however, soon in the home half and won a penalty converted by Nathan Harding, giving Ribb a 23-7 half-time lead.

They started the second half with two men off and had to face the wind.

It was Wensleydale's turn to get penalties and although they seemed kickable they chose to run them out.

Ribb's depleted defence kept them out of their 22 and they weathered the storm. The whole of the back line tackled well until Padley and Thwaite returned.

While Ribb were under more pressure, they handled it well with a couple more line-out steals and continued scrum dominance.

Wensleydale got another try after 60 minutes when their elusive full-back broke out of their 22 to put their left winger away who ran well to score under the posts .This brought the score to 23-14.

Ribb recovered the kick-off and kept the ball driving into the home 22, and Wensleydale conceded a penalty which Mick Thwaite coolly converted into a difficult swirling wind.

Ribb were 26-14 up and although facing the elements they put up a tenacious defence.

They did concede a late penalty, but Wensleydale needed two scores to win and Ribb's defence kept Wensleydale out for a very good win, in which they tackled very well and played with a good tactical appreciation of what was needed.

The win takes Ribb further away from the bottom two and more performances like this will see them climb a few places.