Ripon rugby edged out by Barnsley

hsb  Ripon in action.  (130330M3f)
hsb Ripon in action. (130330M3f)

Ripon’s hopes for a much-needed victory were dashed as Yorkshire Two high fliers Barnsley powered back to win 19-11 at Mallorie Park on Saturday.

Ripon, who lie second bottom, started strongly for a second week running and left Barnsley reeling from the outset.

The home side kept the visitors pinned in their own 22 from kick-off.

Their efforts were almost rewarded but Australian fly-half Ashley Rio missed a penalty attempt after three minutes.

However, Rio made up for it two minutes later with a fine drop goal.

From the restart, Ripon pressed again and Rio took another three points from a penalty.

The powerful start augured well for Ripon.

And, with Barnsley looking rattled, Ben James narrowly failed to touch down a kick after 15 minutes.

As the match went into its second quarter, the league’s fourth best side proved their potent attacking ability.

Their first such venture saw a Rio clearance kick charged down by the visitor’s open side flanker, who trotted over unopposed for their first try.

Barnsley’s only two other excursions into the Ripon half saw them add two penalties.

Ripon excelled in the line out and scrum, winning more than their fair share of turnover ball.

But they lacked precision to finish moves effectively. A cohesive patch of team play after the restart saw Rob Harrison cross over for a well worked unconverted try.

The narrow lead was held onto gamely until Barnsley regained it with a well struck penalty.

The away side completed victory when their number 8 broke from a scrum on his own five metre line before handing to his speedy winger to score.

First team manager Bob Champion said: “Opportunities to extend the lead went begging all too often, with dropped balls and indiscipline leading to loss of possession and territorial advantage.”

Failure to capitalise on the goal kicking strengths in the team also meant potential points went begging.”

Ripon entertain Bradford Salem this Saturday, a side they lost 58-0 to in September.

Ripon’s 3rds picked up morale boosting 51-19 victory at Bramley Phoenix. Joe Duffield swooped to five tries on his debut.