Colts lose close cup game
By Mark Rees
Colts lose close cup game by just 1 point
From the kick off this week, Ripon looked up for the challenge, Charlie Britton putting some big hits in early and letting the opposition know he was there. Just 4 minutes into the game and Rob Heaton got lifted in a tackle but showed good awareness to offload the ball. Rick Castle-Ward hit a lovely running line and passed to Evan Rees who beat the defence with some good footwork and crashed over (5-0).
10 minutes in and Luke Ratcliff took on the defence with a strong run, leaping back to his feet from a tap tackle and making good ground before finally being brought down. From the resulting ruck Ben Taylor put a beautifully weighted box kick in to the right corner. Miles Naylor chased the kick well, beating the defender to touch down in goal. (10-0).
The visitors responded with a break away try from pressure deep in their own 22 - The Rish player showing great speed to race the length of the field (10-5).
Back in the visitors 22 and another Taylor/Naylor combination nearly came off again but this time the ball crossed the dead ball line just before Miles could reach it.
With possession back from the resulting drop out, good handling across the line worked an overlap and Harvey Toomes put a perfectly timed pass to Oliver Williams who crossed fro Ripon's third (15-5).
Approaching the half hour Ripon put in a high kick and were awarded a penalty from confusion in the defence catching a knocked on ball in an offside position. It was taken quickly but the Rish defenders had not retreated 10 meters giving another penalty in kicking range. Oliver Williams slotted the 3 points (18-5).
Another strong break from Luke Ratcliff saw Ripon with the chance of another 3 points when he was tackled high. Unfortunately the attempt at goal just drifted across the front of the posts.
Just on the half time whistle though Ripon were rewarded for all their hard work and pressure with a good team effort, keeping possession through multiple phases and moving the ball from right to left, with Evan Rees diving over to secure the try (23-5).
Hamish Mainey replaced Ben Taylor, Dylan Hudspeth came on for Harry Smith and Sam Headford replaced Callum Burton
Straight from the kick off in the second half a Rish player was yellow carded for tackling a player in the air. Unfortunately Ripon couldn't make the extra man count despite coming close with a couple of attempts.
Charlie Hynes came on for Luke Ratcliff, Titus Baker replaced Miles Naylor and Bob Mckee made way for Jack Whincup.
Quarter of an hour into the second half and Ripon were hit with 10 minutes of madness. Sam Headford was first to see yellow for not retreating 10 from a penalty. Rish put the ball into the corner and were pressuring the Ripon line when Connor Eddleston was charged with a deliberate knock on, putting Ripon down to 13 players and conceding a penalty try (23-12).
From the kick off, the speed demon in the Rish team took advantage of the reduced defence and raced in from his own 22 narrowing the early lead down to 6 points (23-17).
With Sam's sentence served Ripon were back up to 14 players for a very short time before Charlie Britton made it a hat trick of yellows for a high tackle.
Ripon absorbed a lot of pressure close to their own line and managed a long distance clearance kick courtesy of Oliver Williams. However from the resulting lineout Rish worked the ball to their speedy guy again and he made another long distance try from deep in his own half, importantly making his way under the posts for the easy conversion. (23-24)
Despite some last minute Ripon pressure and line breaks from Sam Headford and Rick Castle-Ward, the visitors held onto their narrow lead until the final whistle.
A disappointing exit from the cup, after such a promising first half performance.