SKIPTON did well to hold third placed Bramley to 5-0 at half-time in very cold and windy conditions at Warrels Road.

The home side dominated the second-half but two breakaway tries gave a final score that flattered the hosts in a contest which saw Skipton give 100% right down to the wire.

The home side made a strong start, securing most of the possession in the first ten minutes.

An early penalty saw Pheonix into the corner but Skipton disrupted the line and stand-off Lewis Reynoldson cleared from the scrum.

Chris Wright, starting at hooker for Skipton, took a subsequent scrum against the head but pressure from Pheonix saw them in for the only try of the half after several phases of play. The conversion attempt went wide.

A Skipton penalty into the corner in the next phase of play resulted in a goal line drop-out. A Skipton knock-on then put them on the back foot but they again stole the ball at the line-out and a great break by Joe Stapleton on the wing and second-row Ed Harrison saw Skipton down field.

The visitors again put the penalty ball into the corner and came very close but Pheonix cleared to end the half.

The second-half started with good early defence from Skipton but a breakaway converted try stretched the home side's lead.

Callum Patrick replaced Chris Wilkinson in Skipton's back line, and sustained forward pressure on the Pheonix line saw the ball popped up to skipper Hamish Munro at full-back who was over but the ball wasn't grounded. Skipton were, however, brought back for a penalty and Munro was over at the second attempt.

The early signs of a Skipton recovery were soon quashed as Pheonix ran in try number three from a tap penalty for an infringement at the ruck.

A superbly struck kick by Pheonix No. 11 added the extra points.

A try saving tackle by Reynoldson in the next phase of play kept Pheonix out, but try number four was not long in coming.

Skipton would not give up and took the game back to Pheonix, coming very close from a rolling maul, but were penalised for holding on in the last phase.

A Reynoldson charge down put Skipton back down field but, despite defending solidly for the last ten minutes, a breakaway try on the stroke of full-time gave a final score of 31-5 to the home side (Bramley).

Skipton return to action at home to Burley on Saturday in what is a mid-table battle and a victory would see Skipton leapfrog their opposition into seventh place.

The defeat against Bramley was Skipton's first since February 5 and they'll be hoping to bounce back from the weekend's tie.

They're coming up against a side in Burley who have been fairly inactive in recent weeks, however they have benefited from home walkover and away walkover wins, their most recent coming on Saturday at home to Hemsworth.

Can Skipton bounce back?

Elsewhere in the division on Saturday, league leaders Barnsley travel to Hemsworth and high-flyers Harrogate Pythons travel to Halifax Vandals. There is also a big clash down at the bottom end of the table as Wibsey travel to Ossett.