7-14 victory.

IT WAS ‘so nearly’ for another one of North Yorkshire’s rugby union sides at the weekend, as like Wharfedale, Skipton ran league leaders Hemsworth close.

Leading 9-5 at half-time and 14-12 with just 15 minutes remaining, Skipton’s lead would be snatched. Playing down the slope with the wind behind them, the pace of the Hemsworth back-line eventually told and they ran in three tries in the last ten minutes to secure victory.

Good early exchanges ensured the hosts, Hemsworth, , would be pinned down the slope.  A break from the base of the scrum put the home side’s left-wing clear for an early try, but this did not deter Skipton. They played with great spirit, taking the game to Hemsworth.

Veteran Skipton prop Chris Wright replaced Steve Carroll, recently returned from injury and improving with every game, but Carroll was soon back on the pitch in place of Tom Allsop.

An excellent break by full-back Lewis Reynoldson saw Hemsworth off-side at the breakdown and centre Callum Patrick converted the penalty to put Skipton on the scoresheet. 

Hemsworth began to lose discipline and conceded three further penalties for not releasing and off-side. The first was put into the corner and saw a great break from the line-out by back row Jordan Wilson. The next two were within kickable range and were converted by Patrick to see Skipton go into the break with a 9-5 lead.

The visitors started the second half well, and were soon on Hemsworth's line, despite playing up the slope. They stole early line-out ball and, after a great break by Chris Wilkinson on the wing and pressure on Hemsworth's line, No. 8 Carl Nicholson was over for an unconverted try to stretch Skipton's lead to 14-5.

Aaron Tattersall came off the bench to bolster the Skipton pack. Despite two further penalties to Skipton, strong play down the slope gave Hemsworth a second converted try to reduce Skipton's lead to 14-12.

It looked as though a surprise result against the league leaders could be on the cards, but the pace and strength of the Hemsworth back-line eventually told as the game wore on and they ran in three late tries to secure a 27-14 victory.