NORTH Ribblesdale travelled to south Yorkshire with a great deal of confidence, but in the knowledge that the south of the county is always a difficult place to win.

A feisty start to the game and a brawl saw Harry Mathew and the Hemsworth number eight given a cooling off period in the sin bin.

Ribb then settled into trying to play their exciting brand of rugby, but resolute Hemsworth defence held firm for almost twenty minutes, until impressive hooker Ryan Sumner barged over wide out. Tom Davidson missed the conversion.

A midfield fumble was then hacked on and the home centre Murtagh touched down for a converted try and a somewhat surprise lead.

Ribb swiftly bounced back and on the half hour mark, dynamic centre, the returning Ben Coultherd, put on the after burners. Rounding his man with sheer pace, he gathered his own chipped kick over the home side’s full-back and went racing clear to for a converted try and 12 - 7 interval lead.

Playing uphill in the second half, Ribb were to score a further three unanswered tries from wingers Michael Robinson twice, and John Davidson finishing off a good team effort after excellent work from Elliott Belt and Callum Mathew. Tom Davidson converted two and kept Hemsworth at bay with some savvy tactical kicking to see out the game.

Ribb’s back row were impressive once again, none more so than teenager Oliver Drew and skipper Alex Dew. The victory keeps Ribb two points behind leaders Yarnbury, but with a game in hand and confidence high at the club, there is a lot of excitement building ahead of the 2024 calendar.

Next up is the annual derby against Wharfedale Foresters on Boxing Day before a home game on New Year’s Day when Ribb Stags take on local rivals Kirkby Lonsdale prior to league action resuming on January 6 with a home game against Ossett.