OLD Grovians maintained third place in Yorkshire Two with a hard fought 20-6 win over North Ribblesdale.

In a game where Ribblesdale had the lion’s share of possession, it was Grovians’ defence and two well taken tries that were the difference between the two teams.

Hosts Grovians took the lead after 20 minutes when Ben Brown kicked a penalty from the edge of the 22. Ribblesdale hit back five minutes later with a penalty of their own from 30 metres.

On the half hour mark, Danny Secker collected a clearance kick by Ribblesdale on halfway and set full back Max Kennedy on a run.

He sidestepped three defenders before breaking through the middle, and his well-timed pass put centre Anthony Griffin in down the left to score. Brown kicked the conversion.

Right on half-time, Ribblesdale reduced the lead with a penalty to make the score 10-6 to Grovians.

The second half saw both sides putting in great defence in the soggy conditions. Brown extended Grovians’ lead to 13-6 with another penalty, before Griffin broke from his own 22 and sent Kennedy racing away down the right wing to score under the posts.

Brown converted to give Grovians a 20-6 lead with 20 minutes to play.

Ribblesdale rallied but twice Grovians drove them back at dangerous attacking lineouts. Finally, with five minutes left, Brown missed a penalty, dragging his kick just wide.

Grovians’ coach, Andy Hinchliffe, was delighted, saying: “It was probably the most pleasing performance of the season so far.

“North Ribb are a well-coached, forwards dominated team with a good scrum and an effective rolling maul. Our players had to be equally physical and determined but also maintain their mental strength throughout.”

One individual highlight saw Chris Blackhall return for Grovians and put in an outstanding performance.