Rishies close in on the title

Yorkshire Three champions elect Rishworthians got back to winning ways with a 32-20 success at Northallerton in difficult conditions.

They did enough playing down the slope in the first half to ensure victory, although they had to defend well in the second period.

They scored four tries to earn a bonus point and then kicked all their goals except one as Northallerton failed to land any of theirs.

It was tough against the slope in the second half but they defended with determination under extreme pressure in the pack to hold out in the wind, rain and mud.

But it was a good first half display which brought the rewards and maintained their big advantage at the top of the table.

They went ahead within five minutes when flanker Chris Dyson gathered the ball in a tackle on halfway and sprinted to the line, exactly as he had done in the two previous games. Fullback Aaron Canning added the conversion.

The home side came back strongly but Canning burst through and put centre Kurt Sutcliffe in under the posts and then added the conversion.

Minutes later he extended the visitors’ lead with a penalty and then his long clearance kick produced a third try.

Northallerton could not hold on to the bouncing ball and Dyson was quick to pounce and set up a ruck. Young replacement prop Paul Henry Jackson picked up and put in a strong run to the line to touch down his first try for the club.

Canning added the conversion to make it 24-0 before the home side touched down at the end of the half for an unconverted try after strong forward pressure.

Northallerton used the slope well in the second half to keep Rishworthians pinned in their own 22 for long periods and then doubled their score with a try after a scrum near the line.

But it just spurred the visitors and left wing Chris Flanagan ran the ball well out of defence and linked with lock Fraser Swarbrooke and prop Ryan Mudd to set up another three points from a penalty.

The home side were desperate to come back, but when they made a mess of a quick lineout, player coach Damian Ball was quick to pounce. He found Canning, who put centre Luke Flanagan in for a try. The wind blew the ball over in Canning’s conversion run-up and his hasty attempt to rescue it with a drop goal failed.

In the last 20 minutes Northallerton threw everything at Rishworthians and finally scrambled over after continual pressure on the line.

The gap was too great, however, and although the hosts managed a fourth try from a scrum, the Rishworthians defence held firm and they finished on the attack.