Ripon prepare for life after Buckley

NARG1103052 Ripon V Doncaster .  Ripon's Scott Coyne1103052AMb
NARG1103052 Ripon V Doncaster . Ripon's Scott Coyne1103052AMb

RIPON Chairman of selectors John Bell has thanked Jim Buckley for his hard work after he announced his resignation as first team manager due to work commitments.

The Mallorie Parkers will plod on until the end of the season with coach Al Norrie taking over in the interim.

Ripon travel to second placed Huddersfield YMCA tomorrow on the back of Saturday’s 31-27 defeat at home to Doncaster Phoenix.

“Jim has done a great job for us in the last year or so,” said Bell.

“It’s just down to personal reasons. He’s just extremely busy at work.

“But we’re in a reasonable position thanks to his help now.”

On Saturday once again Ripon had to make several changes for this home fixture against their opponents from Doncaster.

As usual they were on the back foot from the start and conceded a try after only six minutes to go seven points down.

The home team gradually eased themselves into the game and were rewarded with a McAra penalty after 16 minutes and then full back Jason Bell squeezed over in the corner for a try to give Ripon the lead 8-7.

The advantage was short lived however as three penalties for Doncaster and two for Ripon made the half time score 14-16.

A penalty after only one minute of the second half extended the visitors lead and a period of even play followed with neither side threatening and defences holding firm.

As the game entered into the last quarter Ripon managed to spend some time in their opponents’ 22 and keeping them under pressure quick ball was released on the short side and some slick handling by the backs put winger Adrian Potter in at the corner.

The lead was again short lived for as four minutes later another penalty gave the visitors the lead once more.

As the game drew to a close a break from half way by scrumhalf Rob Nicholson split the Doncaster defence and fine support play resulted in lock Dan Watson scoring to the right of the posts.The conversion by McAra gave Ripon a 26-22 lead going into injury time.

The task for the home side now was to secure the ball from the kick off and keep possession for the last few minutes.

This they were unable to do and a Ripon line out deep in their own 22 was thrown long, lost, and the possession gained by Doncaster enabled them to power through the middle to score under the posts and wrap up the victory.

In a game riddled with penalties and some strange decisions it was the lack of discipline that ultimately cost Ripon the game as they outscored their visitors by three tries to two but committed far more indiscretions.Failure to comply with the referee’s wishes, cost Ripon dearly as the penalty count indicated and with a kicker of the calibre of the Phoenix side, they were always going to be punished.