NLD Pennant League – Group Four
Ripley Rhinos 1st XV 10
East Retford 2nd XV 12
Rhinos 1sts played host to East Retford 2nds in the Pennant League and were narrowly pipped 12-10.
Ripley were shocked early on when Retford scored within the first minute to open a 7-0 advantage.
Decent defence from the whole team and strong running from centres Danny Rymell and Ben Smith worked Ripley back into the match and skipper Will Evans reduced the deficit with a penalty.
Another momentary lapse was capitalised on by Retford as they scored an unconverted try to take a 12-3 lead at half time.
Ripley had lots of possession in the third quarter of the game but could only manage one score as No. 8 Ben Smith set up namesake centre Ben Smith to score, with Evans converting.
Retford then marshalled themselves superbly to deny Rhinos the chance to score again and seal the away side’s victory.
This was a game Ripley could, and perhaps should, have won. They worked hard and can be proud of their physical effort. Sadly, they lacked a little composure at crucial times, which could have seen them run out winners. Second row Sam Smith took a well-earned Abex Window Cleaning Contractors man of the match award from his team-mates after a sterling defensive effort, setting the tone for the rest of the Rhinos to follow.
Rhinos 2nds are the team in action this coming Saturday as they host Chesterfield Panthers 2nds in a Pennant League game, kicking off at 2.30pm at Mill Hill School.