Match Report by Neil Summersall (Sorry no Pictures this time . . .)
The Pirates travelled to local rivals Ripon hoping to continue their winning ways in the Merit table. Another decent squad had been assembled which was needed when Nathan Wake was called away by the Pythons to cover a 1st team warm up injury, Ripon kicked off and the Pirates showed their early attacking intentions when a quick lineout throw to Rusty led to good ground been made. A cross kick from Matt Audsley was just missed by Nick Bell and bounced into touch. The Ripon lineout was stolen and Audsley pinned Ripon back on their own line. The Pirates were awarded an attacking scrum and Irish found Audsley on the blind side who was held up. Lenny was quickest to react and gathered the ball to power over from close range. 0-5 10 mins. Ripon were struggling to get a foothold in the game with Cudworth disrupting their lineouts and some strong defence stopping them in their tracks. A long Pirates clearance was run back by Ripon and their big centre bounced away from Louis Dahbi-Green to score under the posts. 7-5 31 mins. A yellow card for the Pirates led to some disruption and a Ripon break out was stopped by a great tackle from Louis. With the Pirates now desperately defending a high tackle led to a Ripon penalty in front of the posts. 10 5 38 mins. A Ripon scrum was disrupted and Ryan Bradshaw’s hack through and chase was brought back for a knock on. Ripon broke out of defence but Bell raced back to tackle and leave the half time score Ripon 10 Pirates 5.
The Pirates started the second period in impressive fashion with Kieran Martin collecting the kick off and the Pirates going through several phases allowing Cudworth to collect and drive through the tackles and score by the posts. Audsley added the conversion. 10-12 41 mins. Ripon camped on the Pirates line but were kept at bay by some ferocious Pirates tackling which saw the Pirates receive another yellow card. A string of penalties resulted in another Pirates yellow but an offence by Ripon saw Bell thump a massive clearance kick. A Ripon 5m scrum was put under pressure with Wiggo and Rusty working overtime and Ripon eventually conceded a penalty after some big defence from the Pirates with Dahbi-Green and Bradshaw putting in the big hits. The Pirates tried to run out of their 22 and conceded a penalty for holding on. This time Ripon went for the posts and the kick was good. 13-12 68 mins. The Pirates put some good phases together with Tayls coming off the bench and Sam Fulton working hard but Ripon saw the game out with the final score Ripon 13 Pirates 12.