Ball keen to keep standards high

Jamie Bloem takes on the Hemsworth defence
Jamie Bloem takes on the Hemsworth defence

Old Rishworthians 42 Hemsworth 7

The performance did not please player-coach Damian Ball, but the result certainly did.

Rishworthians were not as clinical as they have been in recent weeks and made plenty of mistakes, but when they got it all together, they were unstoppable.

It meant that they extended their lead at the top of Yorkshire Three to 12 points and prepared them for a top of the table clash away to second-placed Goole in two weeks time.

Rishworthians dominated most of the game, apart from a short period in the second half, and were on the attack right from the start. They soon got on the scoresheet, but then struggled a little as mistakes crept into their play, although they turned on the style with their expansive offloading game to register a 14-0 half-time scoreline.

The first score came after the home side stole possession in the lineout. Jamie Bloem then got the ball out and stand-off Josh Kelly missed out Ball and found centre Kurt Sutcliffe, who was able to put left wing Anthony Shoesmith clear to score. Fullback Aaron Canning kicked the first of six successful conversions.

Twenty minutes later the lead was doubled after flanker Chris Flanagan charged the ball down, then recovered it and slipped it to his fellow supporting flanker Chris Dyson to touch down in the corner. Canning kicked a fine conversion.

Try as they may Rishworthians could not add to their score before half-time and after the break they continued to make too many mistakes as they pressed to add to their score.

Eventually they did increase their lead when Kelly put in a fine kick to allow Canning to run on and touch down and then add the conversion.

The visitors hit back strongly and pinned Rishworthians in their own 22. But they broke away after fine counter-rucking won possession. Sutcliffe and Shoesmith then interpassed to leave the defence floundering before the centre took the final pass to score. Canning added the conversion.

Having gained a bonus point Rishworthians relaxed and found themselves under severe pressure on their own line. It finally told as the visitors were able to take a quick penalty and score a converted try.

The Copley men hit back almost straight from the restart and Bloem broke through several tackles in a strong run on the left wing, before passing inside for Shoesmith to score his second try. Canning again converted.

Near the end a fine break by lock Fraser Swarbrooke set up good position and Bloem was able to crash over in a trademark try from 10 yards. Canning again added the conversion.

The game ended a couple of minutes early due to a serious knee injury to prop Richard Turner, but it meant another five-point haul for Rishworthians, who turn their attention next week to a second round Yorkshire Silver Trophy tie at Hornsea.