NORTH Ribblesdale went to basement side Barnsley on Saturday expecting an easy day at the office.

 It turned out to be anything but that, with the home side bolstered by some players returning from Sheffield RUFC.

 The result was in the balance until the very end, with the lead changing hands three times. In torrid conditions Ribb played into the wind and after some pressure in the scrum, Barnsley scored a try through centre Mark Fisher.

Liam Wallbank seared through the home defence to get Ribb back on terms and Michael Thwaite adding the extras to give Ribb a narrow lead. Under the cosh and playing into the elements Ribb struggled to get a foothold in the game and were happy to turn around only a point in arrears due to a penalty from Barnsley fly-half Adam Edwards.

Ribb expected an easier ride in the second half with the elements in their favour. What transpired was the opposite. Barnsleys heavy pack took the game to Ribb and winger Thomas Hardwick finished off a sweeping move in the corner to give the home side a 13 - 7 lead. Ribbs’ forwards ably led by Adam Middleton, Andrew Thwaite and Jim Malliluie-Black eventually got some territorial pressure and Michael Thwaite added three penalties from various home transgressions to see Ribb home 16 - 13.