A GOOD performance by Skipton saw them take a losing bonus point away from a hard-fought encounter with another of the stronger sides in Yorkshire 3.

The league fixtures have fallen such that Skipton have to face the stronger sides in the Division in the opening weeks of the season, and they have already beaten two of them.

Perhaps the edge on Saturday was up front, where the Vandals had forward dominance, but a handful of penalty kicks by Skipton didn't find touch, giving possession back to the home side and negating the advantage.

A wet day at Halifax saw the Vandals press Skipton from the kick-off, but an early interception by Skipper Hamish Munro at full-back saw Skipton open the scoring with an unconverted try.

Handling in the ruck by Skipton from a poor penalty clearance by Vandals gave the home side another penalty close in. They opted for the scrum and were over for their first converted try.

Skipton were caught off-side at the re-start and the Vandals put a long-range penalty kick down field. The ball was not straight at the line-out but a breakaway unconverted second try stretched the home side's lead to 12-5.

Skipton began to settle into the game but were always challenged up front by the strong Vandals pack. Skipton gained a penalty for Vandals crossing and a quick tap and run by No. 8 Harry McEneaney saw the visitors downfield. They gained another penalty within kickable range and winger Jamie Barker slotted the ball to reduce Skipton's deficit.

Skipton prop Andy Wooler received a yellow card for pulling down in the line-out and was replaced by Darren Greenwood. The visitors conceded a penalty in the corner. Vandals opted for the scrum but great scrummaging by Skipton kept them out. The visitors then lost Skipper Munro when he received a yellow card for an alleged high tackle and from a melee on the line the Vandals were awarded a penalty try just before half time, with the sides turning round at 19-8.

Skipton Coach Craig Bartlett brought Shaun Barraclough on just before the break and Ed Harrison at 2nd Row for the second-half. Harrison immediately put in a good chase and tackle to give the visitors good field position. Skipton applied pressure on the home side resulting in a yellow card to the Vandals for an infringement on the ground. Barker slotted the penalty kick and the score stood at 19-11 to the home side.

Skipton were then caught off-side and conceded a penalty within kickable range but the ball hit the post. The Vandals missed a further penalty and knocked-on twice in the last few minutes, giving Skipton a reprieve with the put-in at the scrum.

On the stroke of full-time, Skipton gained a further penalty and Barker converted with the last kick of the game to earn the visitors a losing bonus point.