Rishworthians given stern examination

Joe Billing

Joe Billing

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Sheffield Medicals 46 Old Rishworthians 17

Rishworthians were literally outpaced by the Sheffield students, who returned to form after a dip which saw them just miss out on promotion from Yorkshire Two.

It was always going to be difficult for the visitors, who were missing five regulars – four from the pack.

It might have been much closer but for an incident early in the second half when a scuffle surprisingly ended with a red card for Rishworthians centre Chris Flanagan, and merely a yellow for the Sheffield player involved.

It changed the game, for when they returned to a full complement, the home side ran in four quick tries to seal the win.

The visitors started the game badly and a couple of mistakes from the kick-off gifted an early Sheffield try.

The students’ pace in every position proved a handful for Rishworthians, but they fought back well with strong runs from props Ryan Mudd and Reuben Pollard and clever interplay between No 8 James Clarke, stand-off Kurt Sutcliffe and left wing Anthony Shoesmith.

Fullback Joe Billing had another fine game and he popped up at scrum half to make a telling break and put Shoesmith away for try in the corner.

The students hit back immediately and their lively scrum half jinked his way over for a converted try.

They followed it up with a scrambled try in the corner and increased their lead just before the break with another converted try after a pacy break in the centre.

Trailing 24-5, Rishworthians came out strongly in the second half and a quick break involving scrum half Gary Morris, Billing and lock Fraser Swarbrooke took play into the home 22.

The ball came out from a ruck and newcomer, replacement forward Joss Bentley, with his first touch, picked up and drove over. Billing converted.

Then Clarke charged down a kick and Shoesmith was on hand to touch down Rishworthians’ third try.

The visitors were looking to add to their tally until the incident which put them down to 14 men.

From then it was always going to be an uphill struggle and a man advantage proved too much with four more tries for the students.

They came back strongly near the end, however, and lock Callum Heseltine was almost over for a bonus point fourth try and with the last act of the game prop Paddy Kerr had the ball knocked from his grasp as he drove for the line.

Rishworthians seconds had a fine 14-5 win away to Old Crossleyans seconds. Matt Noble scored a try and Josh Kelly kicked a penalty and two drop goals.