Canning and Ball fire Rishies to victory

Leeds Medics and Dentists 19

Old Rishworthians 24

Coach Damian Ball decided he wanted a piece of the action and turned out in the centre for Rishworthians, scoring two tries as his side registered a second Yorkshire Three success.

Ball and fullback Aaron Canning used all their experience to guide their side to a win over the newly promoted students.

The home side showed plenty of endeavour, particularly in the second half, and Rishworthians had to dig deep after a penalty try was surprisingly awarded near the end.

There was a good and bad start to the game for the visitors. Canning made a good break to win a penalty and then kicked it for an early lead.

But in the move No8 James Clarke, on his return after almost two seasons of injuries, had to go off with another leg injury sustained in a tackle.

Rishworthians regrouped and went further ahead when left wing Chris Flanagan intercepted and raced to touch down. Canning added the conversion.

The home side hit back almost immediately, bursting through a gap for a converted try.

Rishworthians tightened up and took charge to re-establish their lead. Good scrum possession saw the ball quickly sent wide with Ball bursting through the centre to touch down unopposed. Canning added the conversion.

Players had been warned numerous times about high tackles and Ball was yellow carded for one, which the referee adjudged high.

While he was off Rishworthians finally had to concede an unconverted try in the corner to go in leading 17-12 at half-time.

The home side applied the pressure in the second half, but Rishworthians’ defence held firm and finally the experience of Canning and Ball helped them to extend their lead.

Canning put in a fine kick and Will Brian, who had come on at flanker, showed great pace to get to it, tackle and dispossess a defender, for the ball to be fed out to Ball, who burst through again to score. Canning added the conversion.

Near the end, the home side came back strongly, although Rishworthians defended well until the referee suddenly awarded a penalty try.

They held on, though, in the final minutes to register an away victory over the Leeds students, which many teams in Yorkshire Three this season are likely to envy.