Old Rishworthians’ poor performance at Moortown the previous week was confined to the recycle bin by an excellent 20-14 success at Ripon which has almost certainly confirmed their Yorkshire Two status for next season.
They produced an excellent all-round display of grit and determination in a game that had ‘cup final’ significance after Rishworthians joined Ripon in the relegation zone.
In-form Ripon took control of the opening 15 minutes, steadily building pressure and continually pushing the nervous-looking visitors back into their own half.
After a Rishworthian forward was judged to have gone over the top at a ruck, the home team kicked the penalty.
From the kick off, Ripon secured possession and took play through a number of phases before moving the ball wide to the left and scoring an unconverted try in the corner.
As Rishworthians’ forwards started to gain some momentum at the scrum and rucks, stand off Damian Ball, who had a fine game, kicked well and provided good ball for the three quarters.
Receiving quick ball from Gary Morris on the half way line, Ball made a break and passed to wing forward Chris Dyson, who scored the try. Fullback Joe Billing converted.
The visitors’ nervous start had now evaporated and forwards and backs worked well to build pressure on the home team. They were rewarded with a penalty success by Billing for a 10-8 interval lead.
Rishworthians continued to exert control and allowed the home team few visits into their half.
However, when they did they were punished, conceding a penalty successfully kicked by Ripon.
The visitors responded well, forcing a penalty kicked by Billing.
Billing was unsuccessful with another attempt and the home team regained the lead with a successful kick.
With time running down Rishworthians needed something from somewhere. Prop Reuben Pollard charged down a kick on the halfway line and the loose ball was picked up by winger Anthony Shoesmith, who outpaced the Ripon defence to score in the corner. Billing kicked the goal.
From the restart Ripon camped in the visitors’ 22 but the defence held.