Moortown 36 Old Rishworthians 0
The scoreline failed to tell the true story of this Yorkshire Two game, which was won by the individual flair and pace of Moortown’s imported backs.
Rishworthians had more than their fair share of possession and dominated most of the second half, but it was a day when nothing went for them.
Several times the ball went loose at the last pass stage and twice they got over the line only to be denied by the referee. But it was three individual tries when little looked on that did the damage.
The visitors were not helped by four of their most influential players being missing and did not get off to the best start. A penalty at the lineout took play near their line and forward pressure forced the opening converted try.
They fought back. A sniping run by scrum half Gary Morris came to nothing after the ball was lost at the breakdown. A scrum won against the head set up a promising move for the backs until the ball went loose from a knock-on.
Then the individual skill of the Moortown stand-off, from a position of little danger, saw him bamboozle the Rishworthian defence with a long jinking run to score in the corner. He then kicked a long range penalty to make things worse.
The visitors came back into the game. The pack was playing well with flankers Fraser Swarbrooke and Gerard Rollings and prop Jioti Bakoso prominent.
Right wing Rhys Town put in a good run, but then a kick and chase just went dead.
The home side were struggling under Rishworthian pressure and looked to have made a mess with a wayward pass until Town slipped and the home fullback gathered the ball and totally outpaced the cover in a 70-yard run to score a converted try to end the half.
Rishworthians opened the second period strongly and kept the home side pinned in their own half for almost 30 minutes.
They did everything but score. A great forward drive took the ball over the line, but it was ruled held up. A fine break by lock Nick Faulkner was continued by interpassing until Town crossed wide out only to be brought back for a forward pass.
On the other wing Anthony Shoesmith almost got in with a strong run, then against the run of play, the home stand-off again jinked free and cross-kicked to a supporting player for a further converted try.
He was there again soon after and linked with his centre and fullback, until Rishworthian fullback Joe Billing pulled off a brilliant tackle on his own line to prevent a try.
A missed tackle and the pace of the Moortown backs brought another converted try to end the game.
Despite the loss to the division’s form team, Rishworthians had several positives to draw from the game. The pack played well and young replacement scrum half Liam Phillips had an outstanding game.