Rishes edge closer to safety

Anthony Shoesmith
Anthony Shoesmith

Old Rishworthians 24 Ripon 17

Rishworthians climbed nine points clear of the Yorkshire Two relegation places with a deserved win over the team below them.

It now puts them into a four-way scrap to achieve mid-table safety.

The victory though could have been more emphatic but for a poor start in which they shipped 10 points in as many minutes.

Sloppy error after sloppy error saw them go behind to a penalty and then a converted try with players standing and watching as a Ripon flanker picked a ball from a loose ruck and virtually strolled to the line.

But it finally stunned Rishworthians into action and from then they were the dominant force in the game.

They hit back, winning the ball from a crunching tackle in midfield by Frank Watene, before the ball went out to left wing Anthony Shoesmith, who put in a strong run and passed inside for supporting centre Kurt Sutcliffe to run in and round under the posts. Brad Radcliffe added the conversion.

Good play by flanker Gerard Rollings and right wing Rhys Town took play into the visitors’ 22. The forwards then took over and prop Reuben Pollard almost got over before the ball came out to No 8 James Clarke, who made no mistake. Radcliffe added the conversion to give the home side a 14-10 lead.

Rishworthians, however, were caught napping soon afterwards when a cross-field kick from a penalty found the Ripon left wing in acres of space and he ran in at the corner for a try which was converted.

Just before the break the home side gained the upper hand again.

Flanker Fraser Swarbrooke was dominant in the lineout and from a great catch near the Ripon line, the forwards drove over with Pollard getting the touchdown to cap another fine performance.

With a slender 19-17 half-time lead, Rishworthians were determined to gain a fourth bonus point try, but found the visitors in determined mood.

The home side dominated the scrums, although it looked like they might get the try they sought with a flowing move by the backs from their own 22, which saw fullback Radcliffe bursting through the middle, but it was stopped short of the line.

The Copley men then camped in the visitors’ 22, but met a determined defence.

Clarke forced his way over, but was adjudged held up. He tried again only to be stopped inches short, however, the ball came out and Town looping round from his wing took the final pass to get the elusive fourth try.

Rishworthians continued to dominate for the rest of the game, but were unable to add to their tally.

Rishwiorthians seconds travelled to Skipton to thrash their hosts 69-8.