The Moortown hoodoo struck again for Old Rishworthians as once again they were well beaten on the Leeds club’s home turf, losing 43-12 in Yorkshire One yesterday.
With a number of key players missing, they were hit by a late injury to stand-off Josh Kelly and when new centre Jordan Zohs pulled up in the warm-up the writing was on the wall.
Teenager Sam Bake moved from fullback to stand-off and even he went off after 15 minutes, although he returned late in the second half, his replacement at fullback Joe Billing moving to the No 10 role.
It was the youngsters in the team who excelled though, none more so than Will McDonnell, who started on the wing and then spent a good period at scrum half.
There were some great try-saving tackles from Bake, George Wright and Luke Flanagan, who had an outstanding game, but Rishworthians could do little to stop Moortown’s strong pacey backs, who scored six of the side’s seven tries.
Within two minutes the visitors were behind as the home backs ran in a try in the corner.
McDonnell almost got in on the visitors’ first real attack but the home side hit straight back with a converted try and another seven-pointer, after missed tackles and good support play, left Rishworthians a mountain to climb.
Flanagan was almost in after a neat off load from flanker Callum Heseltine.
His brother Doug made a break in the centre and flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne took it on before linking with Billing, whose break almost got him to the line before off loading to Jack Andrews for the No 8 to crash over. Billing converted to make it 19–7 at half-time.
The visitors’ renewed hope was squashed with a further two tries by the Moortown backs early in the second half.
The injury toll got worse as lock Richard Bullough went off, but it allowed teenager Toby Muscat-Baron to get his first taste of senior action.
Rishworthians were almost in but a catch and drive from a lineout was held up short.
They went further behind when a loose ball was snapped up for another try and near the finish a No 8 pick-up brought a try from a scrum at the other end.
The visitors ended well though. Doug Heseltine made a break and almost got in before the ball went wide for left wing Ben Wainwright to score in the corner with the last move of the game.
The Development team fared better at Copley, beating Moortown seconds 17-12 with two tries from Thomas Jowle and two conversions and a penalty by Kurt Sutcliffe.