Pontefract RUFC’s three-match winning run in Yorkshire Division Two ended with Saturday’s 33-17 home defeat against promotion rivals Ripon.
Ripon moved level on points with third-placed Pontefract after capitalising on the Moor Lane outfit’s indiscipline.
Pontefract’s cause wasn’t helped when they had a player yellow-carded in the first-half. They were then without the same player for most of the second period after he was red-carded for a repeat offence.
Ripon played with composure and patience and snapped up their chances, with Dom Butler and Josh Seal each grabbing two tries and Richard Scull kicking four conversions.
Pontefract, who lost 25-23 at home to Ripon 12 months ago, made a dreadful start last Saturday when Seal broke through two tackles to send in Josh Duffield for a converted try after just two minutes.
The hosts levelled three minutes later with Ross Shand’s converted try from a quickly taken line-out and then went ahead with a penalty goal from Ian Mattison but Ripon hit back to lead 19-10 at the break.
Facing the wind in the second-half, the visitors stayed in control by retaining possession and putting in low kicks.
With little first phase possession, Pontefract were always up against it.
Ripon increased their lead to 26-10 and although the home side cut the gap to nine points with Niall Sandwith’s touchdown and Mattison’s second conversion they finished well beaten.
Ripon made the most of their numerical advantage to grab their fifth touchdown mid-way through the half.
Neither side scored in the last 20 minutes but Ripon dominated most phases of play to run out comfortable winners with their third straight victory.
Pontefract will aim to bounce back when they visit Old Grovians on Saturday.
It is followed by successive home fixtures against Roundhegians and Sheffield Medicals.
Pontefract 2nds battled hard in a 77-15 defeat against their Morley counterparts at Scratcherd Lane.
Trailing 24-5 at half-time, the visitors were overun in the second-half by well drilled and proficient opponents.
Andy Coleman was Pontefract’s MOM. Will Storey and ever-improving Kieron Tucker also gave stand-out displays.
Pontefract mainly held their own in the scrums and line outs and showed glimpses of their potential but once Morley found a way through the defence, particularly down the flanks, they began to pile up the points.
Fly-half Richard Hossack scored all Pontefract’s points but generally they were outplayed on the day.
Their next fixture is at Wheatley Hills on Saturday, November 19. Wheatley then visit Moor Lane the following Saturday.
Pontefract under 13s returned to winning ways with an excellent display in Sunday’s 45-5 home victory against Yarnbury.
They went ahead after sustained pressure saw them retain possession for numerous phases.
The home forwards set a solid platform with strong work in the scrums and aggressive rucking.
It enabled Pontefract’s classy backs to show their silky skills.
MOM Tom Goldthorpe gave an outstanding all round performace.
Fellow prop Joe Knox also put in a massive shift. He scored a try and went close to another with a superb 50-metre break.
Captain Alec Renouf set an excellent example to his teammates.
Although Yarnbury defended well, they were unable to cope with clever runs from Cole Bradley, Alex Brownley and the returning Max Jowsey.
Number eight Sam Limb showed pace and power to score a hat trick of tries, one of which saw him elude numerous would-be tacklers.
Jowsey and Thomas Hughes formed a strong centre partnership while substitute Morgan Harris injected speed at scrum half and scored a try.
Full-back Tyla Knight gave a top-notch display.
Pontefract under 12s started their season in style with Sunday’s impressive win against Wheatley Hills.
Captain Josh Byles put Pontefract on their way with two quick tries which were followed by touchdowns from Charlie Ash (two) and Brad Faulkener.
Ash’s clever kick then saw Byles complete his hat trick.
There was strong work by forwards Tommy Taylor, Sam Limbert and Ted Hodgson.
Ash bagged his third try with an interception before Harvey Clough also went over.
Ash added three more tries and Faulkener, Kaspars Sokovs, Alex Gough and Ollie Grierson also crossed.
Cieran Cundall, Zak Tayolor, Oliver Barton, Harley, Danny Elleker and Josh Perry also shone.
Pontefract visit Wheatey Hills for the return fixture this Sunday. Players are asked to meet at the Moor Lane clubhouse at 9.50am.