Andrew Mills

North Ribblesdale 30 Thornesians 12

Ribb hosted Thornesians from Doncaster and enjoyed a decisive win in a game which had everything to play for in the last quarter.

After a tight first half Ribb ran away with the match when the Ribb pack finally overcame a combative visiting eight to give a platform for a final ten minutes, culminating in a penalty try to go along with a try scored by skipper Andrew Thwaite. Six penalties were kicked by Mick Thwaite.

While this was a convincing win the game was in the balance up to the last twenty minutes with the scores locked at twelve on the hour. Ribbs' forward power putting them on the front foot for the last quarter.

Ribb started playing way from the clubhouse with the action fluctuating from half to half , Thronesians' backline were more fluent at moving the ball and they gave the Ribb defence a few scares before Thwaite kicked his first penalty .

Thornesians came back and scored a soft try by a short throw to the front. moved back to the hooker who put winger Ambler in wide out. The conversion was wide. Ribb responded well turning the ball over on the ten metre line to force a penalty for offside converted by Mick Thwaite .

Almost from the kick off Thwaite converted another penalty. The Ribb pack were getting the upper hand but Thornes' scrum half was doing a sterling job getting the ball away under pressure and their fluent back play gained them a lot of ground. The Ribb midfield defence coped well under pressure but conceded another try by Ambler following a well executed midfield pass. Ambler converting.

Ribb kicked off and a good tackle by Handy gave a turnover, forcing another penalty converted by Thwaite. Thwaite kicked another penalty just on half time with the game evenly balanced at twelve each.

The second half was a contest between Thornes' backs and Ribbs' forwards who as the game went on grew more and more dominant. Thornes' opportunities were few as their supply of possession dried up but when they did get the ball away they made ground .The Ribb pack's grip on the game and possession grew stronger and most of the second half was played in the visitors half.

Sides under pressure find it hard to avoid penalties and Thwaite kicked another penalty on sixty minutes. From a long kick by Elliot Firth Ribb drove the ball over from a line out with Andrew Thwaite touching down. for a converted try. There was no way out for Thorne. They defended very well and attacked with the small amount of possession they had, but they were under constant pressure and gave away a series of penalties which Thwaite converted to take the score to twenty three twelve. With ten minutes to go the game seemed secure and they put it away after driving a lineout ball to the line. Throne repeatedly offended and conceded a penalty try.

Ribbs' pack was dominant after the first twenty minutes and was the foundation for the win. While the backs could have been more fluent there were good performances from Kyle Handy and Elliot Firth with John Davidson having a tidy game at scrum half. Coutherd and Depledge showed plenty of pace and with quicker passing will be capable of opening up defences.