Strong start is enough to ensure Rishies’ success

Nick Faulkner makes ground
Nick Faulkner makes ground

Old Rishworthians 19 Sheffield Medicals 13

Rishworthians did enough in a brilliant opening 20 minutes to win this Yorkshire Two mid-table battle.

They were 16–0 up after the first quarter, but then spent almost the rest of the game on the defensive, apart from the last five minutes.

After that early spell they looked likely to run up a large score, but their possession dried up and they started to make mistake after mistake.

Even though the visitors were scoreless at half-time, they looked to be the team with momentum.

And things got worse for Rishworthians when they lost Andy Shickell with a shoulder injury midway through the second half.

Shickell was making his first appearance of the season for the club and had already made a significant impact from No 8.

He made two strong carries as Rishworthians opened the game on the attack and then won a penalty as fullback Aaron Canning twice burst into the line.

Canning added the three points and the home side was on the attack again straight from the restart, forcing a scrum deep in the Sheffield half.

Shickell picked up at the back and linked with scrum half Gary Morris, who put right wing Rhys Town in at the corner.

Rishworthians were soon on the attack again with centre Matthew Hunt-Brown breaking through on a long run. The ball was taken on by the forwards with Shickell again making ground before flanker Nick Faulkner forced his way through a mass of players to dive over for a try.

The home side were dominating possession and Canning put them further ahead with his second penalty.

Suddenly the possession dried up and they found themselves only able to make ground through breakaways, the best coming in a fine move by Faulkner and Town.

The half ended with the visitors missing a penalty, but they were successful with another attempt soon after the restart.

From then Rishworthians found themselves on the defensive. Eventually the pressure told and the visitors ran in a converted try wide on the left.

Mistake after mistake followed from the home men and when another visitors’ penalty took the score to 16–13 they looked shaky.

But they held on and came back strongly in the last few minutes, forcing a penalty, which Canning kicked to end the game.