Ripon RUFC swept to a resounding 43-3 win at basement side Baildon on Saturday, the seven-try victory giving them a glimmer of hope as they continue their fight against Yorkshire Two relegation.
This Saturday they welcome Old Rishworthians to Mallorie Park, seeking to keep this buoyancy going (3pm).
In wet and windy conditions, an emphatic team performance saw a defiant Ripon claim their third win in a row, a feat not seen since last season.
The game started somewhat shakily, with Ripon playing uphill into the wind and rain, making a number of unforced errors. It was obvious from the outset that this was not going to be a walkover, and when Baildon opened the scoring with a penalty after seven minutes, Ripon got down to some serious graft.
From a team perspective, every aspect of the game was dominated by Ripon thereafter.
The Ripon scrum was as strong as ever, and the lineout was dominated by Britton and recently recalled Stuart Cross.
The whole of Ripon’s back line played with pace and style, with many line breaks and effective interplays.
Noteworthy however was Ashley Rio, who for the second week running, cropped up everywhere with incisive breaks and great skills with both hands and boots which took his personal points tally to the 140 mark.
The first half was beset with difficulties in finishing, and it was 25 minutes before a cohesive attack saw Rob Harrison chase and catch his own kick upfield, to feed Scott Paul and then Bell, who was held up over the line.
From the ensuing ruck, lock Iain Barker plunged over for Ripon’s first try of the game. Having broken the deadlock, Ripon pressed hard for the remainder of the half and were rewarded again by Rio scoring his first try of the game and adding the conversion to end the session 3-12 up.
Ripon knew they had to secure the game and squeeze out nothing less than a bonus point victory. This they certainly went on to do.
The second half saw Ripon destroy any efforts Baildon attempted to break out. Superb interplay was possible from solid first phase possession and effective ball retention and resulted in more tries from Jason Bell (2), Adam Scott Paul, Stuart Cross and Rio again, with four of them converted by Rio.
Ripon remain second from bottom, six points off tenth-placed Moortown, having played one game more.