Rishies back in the dogfight after poor display

Anthony Shoesmith
Anthony Shoesmith

Moortown 17 Old Rishworthians 3

Rishworthians pushed themselves back into the dogfight at the bottom of Yorkshire Two with one of their poorest performances of the season.

They were caught cold in the first 15 minutes and from then it was always an uphill struggle.

Unforced errors cost them dear and although they dominated possession in a scoreless second half they never looked likely to break through a solid Moortown defence.

They had two clear breaks in the first half after good work by Damian Ball and Kurt Sutcliffe but finishing was far from clinical.

Sutcliffe looked to have scored in the corner with the last act of the first half, but the referee ruled the ball had not been grounded properly.

But it was two tries in the early part of the game which proved Rishworthians’ undoing.

Moortown centre Mark Shires scored a superb individual opening try with a run to the line from inside his own 22, aided by some sloppy Rishworthian tackling.

The try was converted, however the visitors hit straight back and forced a penalty, but Joe Billing’s kick drifted wide.

They were caught napping again two minutes later and a delicate kick through brought a touchdown in the corner.

Once again they hit straight back and this time Billing was successful with a penalty.

It spurred Rishworthians on as they drove their way back upfield following a superb pick-up by left wing Anthony Shoesmith, who was one of the few players to shine, along with No 8 James Clarke, Billing and prop Ryan Mudd.

Centre Chris Flanagan almost got in from a Billing kick, but the visitors were driven back and then a comedy of errors in their own 22, involving two charged down kicks brought a third try for Moortown.

The second half saw Rishworthians on the attack almost constantly. They turned down kickable penalties in an attempt to get a try, but each time unforced errors and sound defence left them more and more frustrated.

As they got more desperate, they made more errors and it now leaves them with a vital game next week at a resurgent Ripon.