North Ribblesdale 14

Wheatley Hills 0

NORTH Ribblesdale put in a resolute performance, in dreadful swirling conditions, to blank Wheatley Hills in a feisty Yorkshire Two encounter at Grove Park on Saturday.

A win against a huge visiting pack of forwards was the just reward for a Ribb side who are starting to play some thoughtful rugby.

Ribb started with the swirling wind at their backs and used the elements to their advantage, pinning the visitors back in their own 22 for large periods of the first half.

Several drives for the line by Ryan Sumner, Michael Carr, John Padley and Matty Close were repelled, but three times the methods were deemed to be illegal by the referee and Mick Thwaite took the opportunity to give Ribb a 9-0 lead at the break.

It didn't look like it would be enough as the Ribb forwards prepared themselves for 40 minutes of stout defending.

Sure enough, Wheatley started strongly and had Ribb on the back foot, but this Ribb team is proving obdurate and its much-improved defence is paying dividends.

Having weathered the early storm, Ribb picked and drove their way upfield all the way to the Wheatley line, where after some pressure flanker Adam Stubbs was driven over in the corner.

Although Thwaite narrowly missed the difficult conversion, this seemed to increase Ribb's resolve and the rest of the match was played out pointless with Ribb's pack holding firm against much heavier opponents.

This was arguably Ribb's best home result this term and bodes well for the rest of the season, but with the bottom two both winning keeping the momentum going will be essential.

This Saturday Ribb visit Yarnbury, who they will overtake in the table if they can win.