No happy home coming for Rishies

Old Rishworthians v West Leeds'Kurt Sutcliffe scores
Old Rishworthians v West Leeds'Kurt Sutcliffe scores

Old Rishworthians played at flood-hit Copley for the first time since November 7 yesterday but could not match the first half performance of Yorkshire Two leaders West Leeds and lost 29-15.

It was almost as if the Copley men were stunned to be playing at home as they made too many errors and allowed the visitors to dominate.

West Leeds stand-off Dale Breakwell used the strong wind brilliantly and laid on two tries for former Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Super League star Mark Calderwood.

The score at half-time was 29-0 to the visitors, but the ‘real’ Rishworthian team turned out for the second period, scored two tries and might have had three more.

It was the first half that proved the difference though, with the home men on the defensive from the start and conceding an early penalty.

Right wing Matthew Hunt-Brown earned a penalty, but the kick was rejected and a lineout catch and drive failed.

The visitors went back on the attack and scored a converted try as the ball was moved along the backs.

Fullback Liam Phillips denied Calderwood after a kick through, but a missed tackle brought a second converted try wide out.

A classy try and conversion involving Calderwood from a clever cross-kick followed and Rishworthians were reeling.

A poor clearance from a huge downwind kick handed the ball back to the visitors and they moved it wide for Calderwood to touch down in the corner for the last score of the half.

Rishworthians had lost Harvey Keighley-Payne to injury in the warm-up and two others, Phillips and prop Ryan Mudd, were also forced off in the second period.

Undeterred, the Copley men brought out a great second half performance, opening with a penalty from stand-off Josh Kelly.

They came straight back from the restart and only great defence held them out as Mudd, Nick Faulkner and James Clarke all went close.

Rishies almost forced their way over again but the ball was recycled and went along to line to Hunt-Brown, having his best game of the season, who chipped over the defence and ran to touch down.

Kelly converted and suddenly Rishworthians had real hope. They never allowed the visitors to get out of their 22.

Replacement Rhys Town almost got there in a race to touch down and great forward play almost saw Clarke over.

The ball was recycled and went along the line for centre Kurt Sutcliffe to touch down in the corner.

Rishworthians continued to press to the end and only desperate defence kept them out.