AN outstanding performance by Skipton brought them within one try of toppling unbeaten league leaders Northallerton on Saturday and left the hosts shaken, knowing full well that they’d been in a game.

Skipton started strongly and an early chip through by Haish Munro on the wing saw centre Joe Gill touch down for Skipton's opening try after three minutes. The conversion attempt was just wide by a fraction.

Northallerton countered with two penalties into the corner and were over from a rolling maul to level the scores at 5-5. Two penalties to Skipton followed, for Northallerton not releasing, and front-row Charlie Brown was in for Skipton's second try, after a superb run by full-back Luther Hall at pace and a quick pass from back-row Jordan Wison. The reliable boot of centre Callum Patrick added the extras.

The heavy Northallerton pack put Skipton under pressure but a penalty to the hosts went dead in-goal and Skipton were quick to put the 22 drop-out down field. No. 8 Joe Hayes was over from a ruck close in for Skipton's third try. Patrick added the extras and Skipton were ahead 19-5.

A shell shocked Northallerton rallied and were in for their second try from a rolling maul from a line-out close in. A panicked off-load by Skipton gave Northallerton an interception and a third try just before half-time and the sides turned round at 19-15 in Skipton's favour.

Skipton had it all to do and started the second half strongly with good running by Hayes and hooker Alex Burnett, but there are no fairy stories on rugby fields.

Tom Allsop came on to bolster the front row for Skipton, but a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on by full-back Luther Hall was a setback for the visitors. Shaun Barraclough came on to replace Michael Tam at scrum-half, who had put in a full shift.

Northallerton were over for try number four from a scrum close-in to edge ahead 20-19. The game then turned unluckily for Skipton with a break-away try for Northallerton from an interception, to put them ahead 25-19.

Northallerton gained a penalty into the corner but an amazing break-away by Skipton winger Jonny Tomes-Green saw him over for what would have been the winning try. It was not to be. Play was brought back for a penalty for adjudged shirt tugging off the ball and Skipton went home with just a losing bonus point but with the satisfaction of a game well played.