OLD GROVIANS have now only won one of their last six Yorkshire Two matches after suffering a 31-13 defeat at third-placed Ripon.

The result has to be put into perspective as no less than 30 players were unavailable for the game.

Therefore, the Bradford side were forced to start four 18-year-olds, while also losing a quartet of players to injury during the game, playing the last 20 minutes with just 14 men.

Ripon opened their account after just five minutes when their backs moved the ball along the line to the left and cause a score under the posts.

Ben Brown, playing at fly half, reduced the arrears with a well struck penalty.

Pad Burns and replacement Matt Frost were both forced off injured in the early exchanges.

Ripon were very fortunate to score on 30 minutes when the referee missed a clear knock on and the right winger went over. Brown again slotted a penalty to make the score 12-6.

Throughout the first half Grovians dominated the set scrum and on 35 minutes they again pushed Rippon back but the ball squirted out the back and Ripon capitalised on the right meaning the score at the break was 17-6.

Half-way through the second period Ripon secured the try bonus when they drove a line out over the Grovians line.

Grovians were now down to 14 men with injuries to Joe Harrison and Jack Popely.

With time running out, Grovians were encamped in the Ripon 22 for five minutes.

After the fifth penalty against Ripon, the referee produced his yellow card. Two scrum penalties later he awarded Grovians a penalty try.

Ripon had the last say when the ball was kicked down field and several fly hacks later a Ripon play just managed to ground the ball before it went dead.

Grovians coach Andy Hinchliffe after the game said: “Another match with loads of positives but a disappointing result.

“A spirited second half demonstrated the players’ commitment and effort especially playing with 14 men due to injuries to four players.

“However unforced errors at crucial moments and a strong Ripon lineout restricted possession in the first half and a string of injuries broke all continuity and let Ripon in for some well taken tries.”