Knottingley 19 Skipton 17

A LOSING bonus point was all that Skipton could take away from a close and hard-fought Yorkshire Three encounter.

It was a game that Skipton let go after squandering three first-half penalties and two conversions.

The missed penalties came early in the game for Skipton following infringements at the break down and back chat to the referee by Knottingley.

Skipton then had a setback themselves with full-back Andy Maclean receiving a yellow card for illegal play at the breakdown.

The visitors took the first scrum against the head and went on to dominate the set pieces all afternoon.

Good line-out work by second row Rick Willsher put scrum-half Jack McLeod through. He raced for the try line but was brought down just two metres short.

Knottingley were penalised at the resulting ruck with their scrum half receiving a red card for swearing at the referee following his decision.

Skipton opted for a scrum and gained a push-over try, touched down by number eight Harry McEneaney.

Excellent forward work from the re-start put Skipton back down field.

They were penalised for crossing but a great return break by centre Hamish Munro fed winger James Akers and stand-off Lee Neha, with only a last forward pass denying a try.

They weren't to be denied. Skipton took the scrum against the head and McLeod was over for try number two just before the break.

The Reds kicked off into the wind for the second half but conceded an early penalty for offside.

The home side worked the ball down the middle to go over under the posts for a converted try.

Coach Craig Bartlett then sent on prop Tom Allsop on to replace skipper Chris Wright, who is returning to full match fitness from injury.

A second try for the home side followed a few minutes later from a cross field move into the corner. The conversion attempt was not successful but Knottingley had taken the lead.

A third try followed from a five-metre scrum and Skipton seemed to be losing their grip on the game.

The conversion was successful and the home side had established a 19-10 lead.

Knottingley gained a penalty for Skipton not releasing. They opted for the scrum but were driven off the ball, setting up a break for Munro.

An excellent forward drive from the breakdown fed replacement flanker John Willsher who was over for try number three.

Neha's conversion attempt was successful and Skipton were within two points.

Despite a desperate last five minutes, Skipton could not add to their tally and came away wondering what might have been.