Skipton 22

Rotherham Phoenix 7

TWO tries from Harry McEneaney and one each from Joe Simeon and Josh Nkwo saw Skipton bag five league points in atrocious conditions at Sandylands on Saturday.

The Skipton ground staff had worked tirelessly from Thursday to ensure the Yorkshire Division Three game went ahead, with many rugby fixtures in the district being postponed.

Skipton kicked off with the westerly gale behind them but after an early war of attrition between the forward packs and a yellow card for flanker Ben Hall for interference on the ground, Phoenix were in for the first points of the day from a tap and run penalty. The try was converted but it proved to be their last points of the game.

Skipton came straight back from the re-start and came close three times, with Simeon being held up over the line and second row forward Andy Wooler being bundled into touch just a metre short after a great run.

Phoenix then received a red card for stamping at the ruck. Skipton opted for the scrum and Simeon was over for try number one. Skipper Hamish Munro slotted the conversion attempt in the breeze and the sides turned round at 7-7.

Skipton coach Craig Bartlett brought winger Tom Lacey on for the second half and a superb chip through by Skipton newcomer Ricky Palacio in the centre saw the home side down field.

A great break by McEneaney put Nkwo clear but he slipped in the muddy conditions, giving Pheonix the put-in from the knock-on.

Skipton had other ideas and took the ball against the head, with McEneaney going over for try number two from the base of the scrum. The conversion attempt hit the post.

The re-start kick went straight out and a well-worked move from the scrum back saw Skipton close but denied.

Errors by the visitors gave Skipton a series of penalties. They opted for the scrum each time, with Nkwo going over for a well deserved third try. The conversion attempt by Munro, although on target, blew straight back in the gale.

Phoenix picked up another yellow card for a deliberate knock-on.

Skipton opted for the scrum and McEneaney was over for try number four, earning the bonus point, to the joy of the sizeable home crowd.