Rishworthians confirmed as Yorkshire Three champions

Old Rishworthians celebrate winning the Yorkshire Three title
Old Rishworthians celebrate winning the Yorkshire Three title
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Hemsworth 14 Old Rishworthians 53

Rishworthians cruised to the Yorkshire Three title with three games to spare after a nine-try victory at Hemsworth.

Baildon were the only club that could have overhauled them, but their failure to secure a bonus point ruled them out of any chance.

A five-try blitz in the first 20 minutes made the game safe as Hemsworth could not cope with the pace of the Rishworthian backs as they finished in style.

The visitors made their intentions clear right from the start and after two failed bursts through the centre, got the ball wide to left wing Anthony Shoesmith who scored the first of his four tries in the corner.

No 8 James Clarke almost got in with a strong run before player coach Damian Ball picked up from a Hemsworth breakdown and darted through, giving the final pass for centre Kurt Sutcliffe to touch down. Fullback Aaron Canning added the conversion.

Soon after the ball went wide again for Shoesmith to dart in for his second, with Canning again adding the conversion.

A break in the centre by lock Fraser Swarbrooke set up interpassing between centre Luke Flanagan and Gerard Rollings before the flanker crossed the line. Canning converted.

Flanker Chris Dyson then got his fourth try in successive games, picking up in midfield and darting to the line. Canning again converted to give Rishworthians a 33-0 lead after only 23 minutes.

Hemsworth finally got into the game and their No 8 burst through from close range to score a converted try.

It was soon business as usual though as Clarke picked up at a scrum and went for the line. He did not quite make it but put the supporting Canning in at the corner.

Hemsworth fought back and Rishworthians had to defend well to keep them out.

Then good harassing at the base of the scrum by skipper Gary Morris regained the ball and Dyson broke through before putting Luke Flanagan in at the corner to make it 7-43 at half-time.

The game won, Rishworthians made numerous changes in the second half, which affected their cohesion. This combined with a much more determined home side kept the score down.

But they did get two more tries, both from Shoesmith, sandwiching a converted one from Hemsworth with a fine darting run by the stand-off.

The Rishworthian winger first finished off a break by Rollings, then near the end completed a 70-yard run to score after replacement stand-off Joe Billing ran the ball from his own line.

It was a well-orchestrated and accomplished performance by Rishworthians and one which fittingly saw them crowned as champions.

The second team too had a good victory at home to Pontefract, winning 22-15, with tries by Josh Illingworth, John Turner, Chris Fox and Kevin Heweson and one conversion by Luke Illingworth.