SKIPTON gained a four try bonus point win over Thornensians at Sandylands but it was a close run thing as the visitors pulled back to 20-18 in the second-half.

Kicking-off into the breeze, Skipton exerted early pressure on the visitors but the game was very evenly matched with the sides swapping penalties. Thornensians opened the scoring with a well struck penalty within kickable range but Skipton were straight back onto the offensive and a sweet chip through by scrum-half Jake Emmison saw back-row Jordan Wilson over for Skipton's first try.

Skipton had gained momentum and a great re-start return and quickly re-cycled ball put back-row Edward Harrison in under the posts for the home side's second try. Centre Callum Patrick added the extra points.

A late penalty to Skipton just before the break saw Patrick stretch Skipton's lead to 15-3.

The home side started the second-half well, but a loose ball gave Thornensians an interception and a runaway try. Skipton came straight back with good forward work giving an attacking platform in Thornensians' 22 and Patrick was over for try number three. From the re-start, a fumble at the breakdown gave Thornensians an easy try second try. The conversion was good and Skipton's lead was reduced to 20-15.

Skipton Coach Carl Watts replaced Tom Handforth and Harry Maltby with Carl Nicholson and Miff Smith but before the side had time to re-adjust, Patrick suffered a head injury and Handforth was back on.

A penalty for a high tackle by Skipton was converted by the visitors and things were looking pretty tight at 20-18.

Skipton had determination and, spurred on by the sizeable home crowd, they were soon back in Thornensians' 22. A tap and run from a penalty close in saw second-row Brad Nicholson in for Skipton's fourth try, securing the bonus point. Full-back Lewis Reynoldson added the extra points.

Vice-captain Charlie Brown inspired the Skipton side with a tremendous work rate and ball carrying yards and, although a late penalty to Thornensians for an infringement at the line-out gave them another three points, Skipton ran out winners at 27-21.