North Ribblesdale 14 v 0 Wheatley Hill (Yorkshire League 2)
North Ribblesdale returned to league action this weekend against South Yorkshire rivals Wheatley Hill in the Yorkshire League Division Two fixture. The match day conditions at Grove Park were not the best as the weather played its part in the match with very strong winds and rain for most of the match.
North Ribblesdale started the game stronger than the visitors and scored in the opening minute thanks to an error from the vistors, the kick-off hit a visitoring players foot and bounced froward were it was collected to give the home side a penalty kick at the post which Michael Thwaite kicked to give Ribblesdale a three point lead.
The home side continue to control the match with some excellent ball handling, driving the ball forward in the pack and some well taken line-outs. Midway through the first half North Ribblesdale extended their lead as Michael Thwaite added yet another penalty kick.
The visitors were finding the conditions very difficult in the first-half running into the wind, which also effected their kicking game with most kicks coming back in the wind. However they did have a couple of excellent runs towards the end of the first half that required some last ditch defending from Ribblesdale to keep the visitors out.
North Ribblesdale extended their lead even further with about five minutes of the half remaining and it was again from the boot of Michael Thwaite with another penalty kick to make the half-time 9-0 to the home side.
Wheatley Hill had the wind behind their backs in the second-half and they definately used it to their advantage, they pressured the home side from the whislte and started to cause them a few issues. However the Ribblesdale back line stood strong with some outstanding defending to keep the visitors out.
After around ten minutes, the home side got back into the game and never really looked like conceeding any points as they took contol of the match with some outstanding ball handling whilst driving the team forward with ball in hand. When the visitors did win the ball back the stags defending was outstanding with some real hard hitting challenges.
North Ribblesdale extended their lead midway through the second half with an excellent drive by the team from the visitors twenty-two yard line which ended with Adam Stubbs going over the line for the first try of the afternoon. Unfortunatley Michale Thwaite’s then missed the conversion which left the score 14-0 to the home side.
As the game drew to a close and with both teams looking tired and weather beaten a few incidents arose mainly as the visitors grow more and more frustrated with the lack of possession, this lead to a number of small fights, which the referee was happy for the players and captains of both sides resolve.
North Ribblesdale went onto win the match 14-0 with one try and three penalty kicks, next week they will look to continue where they left off as the squad travels to Leeds to face Yarnbury RFU.
North Ribblesdale – Long, Bradley, Wallbank, Sumner, Samuels, M.Thwaite, Harding, M.Close, I.Close, J.Thwaite, A.Thwaite, Middleton, Stubbs, Padley, Carr (Subs) Lambert, Booth, Spensley
Wheatley Hill – Watson, Garbutt, Mavuso, Blessed, Muirhead, Flower, Norton, Kerry, Stevenson, Clayton, Undy, Key, Bullement, Divis (Subs) M’Batha, Tracy, Hughes
Scorers – (North Ribblesdale) Stubbs (Try), M.Thwaite (Penalties 3)
Referee – Adam Tweddle