First half display lays platform for success

Joe Billing
Joe Billing

Old Rishworthians 20 Knottingley 7

A fine first half performance sealed a deserved and important Yorkshire Two win for Rishworthians.

It took them clear of the division’s bottom two and within touching distance of the clubs above them.

They had too much pace and drive in the first half for the visitors, who had come down from Yorkshire One, and might have notched up more than just their two tries.

While they did not claim a bonus point, they can feel well satisfied with the result as Knottingley raised their game so much in the second period that the Copley men spent most of it in defence.

Rishworthians scored all their points in the first half and then restricted the visitors to one score in the second, denying them a losing bonus point.

The home side might have been on the scoreboard in the first minute when a flowing move involving a great run by right wing Chris Flanagan saw Damian Ball crossed the line only to be called back for a forward pass.

Powerful forward play with Gerard Rollings, Jiot Bakoso, Reuben Pollard and Ryan Mudd all prominent brought a penalty and fullback Joe Billing gave Rishworthians the lead.

Knottingley came back, but great work by the forwards rescued the ball and it went wide, allowing left wing Anthony Shoesmith to put in a searing run before putting Ball in for the first try. Billing added the conversion.

Rishworthians kept up the pressure and Billing added a second penalty.

Number eight James Clarke drove the home men forward again and the ball then went wide with centres Luke Flanagan and Kurt Sutcliffe combining well to put Shoesmith away for the second try. Billing added the conversion to make it 20-0 at the break.

The second half proved a different story with Knottingley taking charge and Rishworthians seeming unable to make any headway.

Under pressure they could not stop a catch and drive from a lineout close to their line and the strong visitors’ pack forced their way over for a converted try.

They kept the momentum going throughout the half and only good home defence held them out.

The Copley men finally got their game going and finished strongly with Shoesmith being stopped a yard out just before the end after another fine run.

Rishworthians seconds scored eight tries in a 50-0 win at Selby. Try scorers were Liam Normanton (2), Lee Atkinson, Alex Kindred, Rhys Town, Liam Phillips, Josh Illingworth and James Gill. Conversions came from Atkinson (3), Cameron Duffy and Phil Kershaw.