North Ribblesdale 24

Old Rishworthians 17

A DOMINANT pack lifted North Ribblesdale to a fine win against high-flying Old Rishworthians in atrocious conditions at Grove Park on Saturday.

The victory saw Ribb took a further step up Yorkshire Division Two and made themselves safer from relegation.

As in the last four games, this win was based on forward dominance and John Padley having another outstanding game.

Ribb lost the toss and played with the wind in the first half, giving away a try to Rishworthians, whose quick and elusive winger got over into the corner for an unconverted try after five minutes.

Ribb's pack then took charge in the tight providing a platform for Mick Thwaite and Nathan Harding to kick Ribb into Rishworthians' 22. Ribb then scored what was to be the first of three penalty tries, as the visitors could not cope in the tight repeatedly infringing.

Mick Carr is having a good spell at No 8 and controlled the ball well in difficult conditions.

Ribb did not have it all their own way and Rishworthians scored a further first half try through their talented backs with quick passing, putting their rapid left winger away on the left.

Ribb used the wind well, getting the ball behind Rishworthians' defence with Will Booth and Andy Thwaite dominating their own line-out ball keeping the pressure on.

Ribb got a coolly converted penalty after 25 minutes. Ten minutes later, they got a second penalty try from a scrum on the visitors' 22 driving the ball to within five yards of the line. The scrum went down and was reset three times until the referee lost patience after another collapse to give a penalty try, bringing the score to 17-10.

Ribb took the kick-off and put the ball into the Rishworthians' 22, a brilliant line-out steal by Booth gave Ribb possession. Then a driven maul was halted and Ribb had a scrum on five metres. This would have given Ribb a further seven points, but the visitors held out and Ribb at half-time were 17-10 up.

The wind in the second half strengthened and Rishworthians got a boost with a brilliant converted try under the posts from their elusive inside centre.

Five minutes later, strong running by Padley and Carr gave Ribb a platform in the visitors' 22. A driven maul was well defended, but Ribb got the scrum and a penalty try gave them a seven-point lead.

Despite the conditions the visitors' backs were a constant threat. The strong wind allowed their No 10 to kick into the Ribb 22, forcing defensive kicks which gave them a line-out platform. But three steals by Thwaite and Booth gave Ribb possession, and they mauled as long as possible to run down the clock.