FOR the first time this season, YMCA showed what they are capable of as they handed North Ribblesdale their first home defeat in 12 months with a 24-18 success in Yorkshire II.
It was a first-class all round show from the Laund Hill side to bring about their first back-to-back wins of the season, writes Martin Hunt.
North Ribb’s stand off Richards kicked an early penalty, but on this occasion,YM’s response was swift.
With the forwards taking the ball up well and the backs playing quick, adventurous rugby, the visitors were soon on the attack and camped in the North Rib 22. And it was hooker Alex Whittaker who took the ball over the line for a well-deserved forwards’ try, Gavin Stead adding the extras for a 7-3 lead.
The Dyke brothers, Stuart and Steve, were having the better of the tight encounters under the tutelage of new hooker Whittaker, who put in a man-of-the-match performance in only his second full outing.
Simon Wilson and James Swift combined well and kept the ball in hand, which allowed the new combination of Sam Housley and Stuart Morton the opportunity to create mayhem down the middle of the field before releasing to their two wingers, Chris Beevers and Adam Ryder, leaving Stead free to join the line.
YM’s next score came from a break by Morton, who pulled the defence out of position before giving the ball to Ryder on the wing and he blew the remaining defender away for pace before getting a beautiful score out to the right of the posts. North Ribb’s wing forward Carr forced his way over the line for a try, Richards missing the conversion, but added three more points shortly afterwards, leaving the half-time score 12-11 to the YM.
It was a scoreline which flattered North Ribb, but YM’s pack were in total control and it was only a matter of time before they added to their tally.
Right on cue it was Ryder who came up with the goods after being fed a great ball by Housley, the big centre bashing his way upfield and forcing the opposition to commit to the tackle before off-loading the ball to the winger, who needed no second invitation and scorched over in the corner.
The pack continued to press home their advantage and it was left to lively substitute Max Nyahoda to force his way through, Stead converting.
Ribb rallied at the end and were awarded a penalty try in front of the posts, but it was all too late and the YM had won the day in tremendous style.