SKIPTON left it late to secure victory in a very hard-fought encounter at Halifax Vandals for their opening game of the season.

Trailing 17-3 with less than 15 minutes remaining, a try from hooker Charlie Brown and a penalty try from a kick and chase by skipper Hamish Munro brought the scores level, with the boot of Callum Patrick sealing the game for Skipton on the stroke of full-time.

The visitors had made an excellent start to the game, pinning the home side on their own line through many phases of play, with flanker Jordan Wilson going over but adjudged held-up.

The early pressure from Skipton continued, but with no points resulting.

The Vandals were stronger in the scrum in the first-half and gained a penalty for Skipton collapsing.

They put the ball into the corner and a rolling maul from the line-out saw them over for the opening score of the afternoon and the only points of the half.

Skipton found themselves defending strong Vandals' pressure and a superb try saving tackle by winger Toby Crook kept the score to 7-0 in the Vandals' favour at the break.

Early errors in the second-half by Vandals allowed Munro some good breaks. A yellow card for Vandals going over the top was followed by a penalty to Skipton within kickable range for a Vandals high tackle. Patrick slotted the kick to claw back three points.

The home side responded almost immediately with an unconverted try after a swift back-line move put the ball into the corner. Handling errors by Skipton gave the advantage to Vandals and they were over from the line-out but held-up.

The goal line drop-out saw Skipton off-side. Vandals opted for the scrum and were over for try number three. The conversion attempt drifted wide.

At 17-3 the game seemed to have ebbed away from Skipton but better play saw No. 8 Anthony Chapman come close. Skipton dug in and showed true grit, with a tap penalty putting hooker Charlie Brown over for a try. Patrick added the extra points.

Vandals knocked on at the re-start. Swift hands from the scrum saw full-back Munro clear. He chipped through but was taken out in the race for the line and the referee awarded a penalty try.

There were four minutes remaining on the clock with the scores level at 17-17. Skipton took the game straight back to the Vandals, who were caught off-side in their own 22.

Patrick slotted the penalty with the last kick of the game to secure victory for Skipton at 20-17.

The North Yorkshire side return to action this weekend when they host Hemsworth.

The latter also claimed victory on the opening day of the campaign, claiming a ten-point score at home to Sheffield Medicals.

Skipton will be hoping to build on their impressive start.