Ball wants points as well as improvement

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Old Rishworthians coach Damian Ball was quick to take the positives from last weekend’s 30-7 defeat at Barnsley, his side’s fifth loss in six starts in Yorkshire Two.

Rishies were trailing just 8-0 against the South Yorkshire side - who were in Yorkshire One last season - as the break loomed before a last-gasp try gave their hosts some breathing space.

That score, couple with the loss of key lineout jumper Fraser Swarbrooke, eventually saw the Copley side distanced, although Ball remained upbeat.

“We lost Fraser early on and then a couple more forwards in the second half, so we were up against it as far as the injuries went,” said Ball.

“We defended really well for long periods against a pretty decent team and I took plenty of positives from that.

“Barnsley were a Yorkshire One side last year, they’ve set themselves up to go straight back there and it’s a great set up they’ve got down there.”

Rishies host Bradford Salem tomorrow, with Ball well aware that gradual improvement will only be acceptable for so long.

“It’s okay getting better each week, but it’s about picking up points,” he said.

“Games like tomorrow’s, against a solid Yorkshire Two side, are definitely winnable.

“There is a good buzz around the place at the moment, the numbers at training have been unbelievable, and hopefully that will pay dividends for us sooner rather than later.”

Rishworthians will have Frank Watene and Chris Flanagan available after the pair missed last week’s fixture, although there are injury doubts over Gez Rollins, Swarbrooke and James Clarke.