Halifax Vandals 19

Skipton 12

SKIPTON came away with a losing bonus point on the last kick of the game after a closely contested Yorkshire Three encounter at Halifax Vandals on Saturday.

A waterlogged first team pitch enforced a move to the reserve pitch and Skipton kicked off down the slope but into the gale force wind.

Stand-off Ben Brearley did manage to find touch in the corner, despite the gale, and Skipton pressed close from the line-out.

An interception gave Vandals a break and threatened Skipton but the home side conceded a penalty at the breakdown.

Skipton kept the ball tight in the windy conditions and tremendous forward work eventually put centre Josh Nkwo clear for the first try of the afternoon. The conversion kick blew straight back in the wind.

Skipton pressed again from the re-start, opting for the scrum for three successive penalties, with the Vandals' No 8 receiving a yellow card for a third offence of handling on the ground.

The visitors camped on the Vandals' line but a fumbled ball denied them a try and Skipton went into the break just 5-0 in the lead.

The wind speed increased in the second half, making playing conditions very difficult. Mark Davison returned to the Skipton pack to replace Darren Greenwood.

The Vandals came close to Skipton's line and their full-back slipped a tackle to go in for their first try. The conversion attempt was successful.

A second converted try quickly followed and when Skipton were penalised for not rolling away.

A long-range kick into the corner gave Vandals the throw-in on Skipton's line and they were through from the line-out for try number three.

The conversion kick drifted wide and at 19-5 the game seemed to be drifting away from Skipton.

Coach Craig Bartlett brought Miff Smith into the Skipton pack and Sam Brearley replaced scrum-half Ra Neha, who had picked up a calf injury.

Skipton kept the ball tight as the second half wore on, with a tremendous work rate from all the forwards.

A late penalty to Skipton for a Vandals high tackle saw them into the corner.

They worked the ball across the field through many phases of play getting closer to the Vandals' line, until hooker Charlie Brown was over for Skipton's second try under the posts.

Skipper Hamish Munro slotted the conversion with the last kick of the game, securing the bonus league point to the applause of his teammates.