ADAM Stubbs has praised North Ribblesdale’s resilience after their 20-17 victory over Old Grovians at Otley in Yorkshire Division Two.

In what was always likely to be a close contest, with both teams starting the day on 28 points, Ribb trailed 12-6 at half-time and 17-13 in the second half before turning things around.

Ribb’s hooker Stubbs said: “It was a game of two halves really. They moved the ball very well (particularly in the first half) but in the second half we upped our game and probably upped our defence a little bit and kept hold of the ball for longer periods, which gave us the dominance up front to get the tries.

“But fair credit to Grovians. They moved the ball very well and their forwards competed well, especially their back three, and it was a hard afternoon for us.”

Stubbs added: “Early doors we were not on the right side of the penalty count after taking a 6-0 lead and we let them come back at us, but in the second third and last third of the match we upped our game against a side that battled right to the end.”

On what was a scheduled non-league Saturday, it is inevitable that there will be players who are unavailable, and Stubbs said: “We had three out, including John Davidson and Liam Wallbank, so we are pleased with the result and we are building.

“We would like to get a few more wins, particularly on the road, but training numbers have been good all season – we have had 35 regularly – and our second team have won today too.

“We are a young side, and the younger ones have now got to grips with playing league rugby. Also, one of the experienced players, centre Ryan Sumner, who we tend to use as a battering ram, came off the bench and made a real impact.

“Two wins from our next three or four games and we will be happy, but it is a competitive decision regardless of there being no relegation, and there is still promotion for teams to go for.”

Ribb went into the match third from bottom against their fourth-from-bottom hosts, but the teams have now swapped places, with Ribb three points better off.

The visitors’ points came from a try, two conversions and two penalties by fly half Michael Thwaite and another second-half try by scrum half Jack McLeod, who nipped round the blindside to score.

On Saturday, 11th-placed Ribb are at sixth-placed Wensleydale, one of six teams who Ribb have a game in hand on.