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Centurions Toil In The Mud With The Farmers

Following on from the Roundhegians game and a weeks break it was time to lock horns with our farming neighbours from up Settle. Our last game against them was in October where we were soundly beaten at Grove park 39-10, the appetite for settling the scores was as ripe as a pint of Guinness in Dublin.

Potentially the strongest side of the season took to the field led by the veteran Ben Rawnsley and the words in the pre match chat were simple. Keep your discipline and front up.

Disaster struck immediately full back Jarrod Trout suffered a shoulder dislocation to be replaced by George Holden all within minutes of the ko.

The backs led by the gun boot of Ryan Clark meant business from the off. The stand off orchestrating matters with ease set his inside centre Billy Evans off for the first try of the match and his second of the season. Coming in onto a short pass the centre stepped liked a young Billy Elliot round his first man and shrugged off another attempted tackle. Conversion successful 7-0.

As is ever the case North Ribb never lay down and die and didn't disappoint, the rest of the half played out in a physical manner with the forwards despite giving away at least two stone a man meeting fire with with fire and holding their own at scrum time, Will Vaughan, Ben Field and Martin Hyde gaining parity and front foot ball on occasion. Tom Morley and Tom Hughes with telling hits and covering as much ground as their lungs would allow. There was also a telling impact from Matt Walker as soon as the veteran entered play throwing his body about with reckless abandon.

As the 1st half came towards its conclusion Ilkley were to have the final say. The returning Welsh Wizard James Mathews whipped his pack onwards towards the try line through a series of phases of play for Dan Snowden to smash his way through a series of North Ribb defenders to settle the half at 12-0.

A quick turn around and substitutions made saw the Ilkley backs immediately Into their stride again with the new signing Jordan Richards immediately show casing his talent with a series of strong carries and rapid foot work. One such run took Ilkley deep into North Ribb territory where Ryan Clark managed to feed the ball to his winger Miles Rochford for a bit of a magic offload to cross in the corner to stretch the lead further with conversion as a bonus 19-0.

As mentioned above North Ribblesdale are probably the best side for refusing to give in and grind out a comeback and they weren't to disappoint. Their stand off seemed to wake up and realised his pack were where the only avenue of a chance of success and began putting ball to boot to move themselves down field for a chance of a line out or scrum. Their reward for probing was immediate with their forwards crashing over 19-7. Matters again started to go against the Ilkley side with penalties mounting up, on the one chance Ilkley were awarded for a penalty it was called for Clark to show case his gun boot to push us that bit further ahead 22-7.

From here it was batten down hatches. North Ribb would not go away and were rewarded with a fourth two trys to bring them within 3 points. With Luke Hope Robertson on the field at 15 he was returning everything he could and showed his class with some great footwork. Showing his former 7's credentials for the club. Disaster was again to to strike with James Mathews carried from the field with a fractured elbow and later diagnosed torn bicep. Goes to show social rugby is still a very competitive game to those who dismiss it!

The final hooter couldn't come quick enough with the Ilkley 3's breathing a sigh of relief for a well deserved victory.

Onwards to Leeds Medics at home this coming Saturday.


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