Thornensians 14 Old Rishworthians 28
Rishworthians sent out a message to the rest of Yorkshire Three and opened up a seven point lead at the top of the table following victory at Thornensians.
The home side had been their nearest challengers in second place before the game, but the Copley men had a brilliant first half and then defended magnificently in the second to take maximum points.
Trailing 23-7 at the break, the home side came out in determined mood and kept Rishworthians in their own half for 22 minutes before finally forcing their way over for a converted try.
The visitors’ defence though was awesome and they were determined not to concede again, despite having replacement Richard Turner yellow carded.
Instead they tackled defiantly and then broke out. Replacement lock Jioti Bakoso burst through the line with a great break, finally feeding the ball to centre Kurt Sutcliffe, who put stand-off Luke Flanagan over in the corner for a bonus point fourth try.
More defence was called upon and Rishworthians never looked likely to concede again, finishing the game strongly in attack.
Things had not started well for the visitors, who conceded a converted try after only five minutes with what appeared to be a double movement as the player literally crawled over while still held.
It not deter them however, and fine play by the pack won a penalty which fullback Aaron Canning kicked for their first points.
Then fine play between him and right wing Chris Flanagan brought a lineout near the home line. Lock Fraser Swarbrooke won the ball and the pack drove him over with flanker Ben Robinson getting the touchdown. Canning added the conversion.
Soon after, the fullback took a quick tap penalty when the opposition were anticipating a goal kick and put Chris Flanagan in at the corner.
The winger was in the thick of the action again soon after and gathered a delicate cross-kick from player-coach Damian Ball before passing inside for Canning to score.
Canning added another penalty before the break which meant meant that the visitors had done enough to win the game, but it was their superb defence in the second half which really clinched the victory.