Old Rishworthians 23
Old Modernians 10
This was Rishworthians best performance of the season in Yorkshire Three as they gained an excellent victory against a revitalised Mods side, who included a number of rugby league players in their line-up
They got off to a great start and then never looked back, completely dominating up front.
The likes of Damian Ball, Damian Gibson and Elland’s James Fairbank could do nothing to prevent the home side dominating the game.
It was a great display by the Rishworthian pack with the front row outstanding, especially teenage prop Reuben Pollard.
Coach John Clough was full of praise for the youngsters in his team and particularly for the forwards.
“It was a good performance all round and one which will set us up nicely for our derby match at Vandals next week,” he said.
Straight from their kick-off Rishworthians were in front as the visitors conceded a penalty and Michael Piper kicked the goal.
Mods then had their best spell of the match and for almost 10 minutes, Rishworthians could barely get their hands on the ball. But their tackling was fierce and the visitors could make little progress.
The Copley men finally got into their stride and the forwards, for the first of many times throughout the match, took the ball on with Pollard and lock Harry Collett prominent. The latter and right wing Lee Atkinson almost got a touchdown together, racing for a ball kicked through, although the referee adjudged a knock-on.
Once again another forward drive with Pollard and hooker Simon Edmundson prominent took play close to the visitors’ line and Rishworthians skipper, scrum half Gary Morris darted over. Piper added the conversion.
Soon after the skipper was yellow carded for an alleged trip and, while Rishworthians were struggling to readjust, Ball burst through the centre and put in winger Matt Stone for a try.
The home side though reorganised and it was business as usual with Piper adding a penalty to make it 13-5 at half-time.
Early in the second half they put in a fine passage of play, which started with a strong tackle by stand-off Aaron Canning and an interception by Edmundson as wave after wave of attacks followed.
No 8 Matt Tyson made a fine break and then centre Kurt Sutcliffe burst through and was able to offload the ball to Canning, who had looped round, to score in the corner.
Rishworthians continued the onslaught and Edmundson and prop Phil Kershaw almost got in wide out.
More good forward play ended with Morris chipping over for fullback Joe Billing to race through and pick-up before diving over in the corner.
Minutes later he was denied a second try for a forward pass.
Just before the end Mods came back and a speculative kick through bobbled away from the defence and gave them a simple touch down.
It made the score a little more respectable, but there was no denying a fine victory for the home side.
The second team went down 41 – 3 to West Park Leeds, with a Tom Higginbottom penalty being the Rishworthian points.