Old Rishworthians celebrated the arrival of a new strip by getting back to winning ways with a 22-18 home success against Roundhegians, one of Yorkshire Two’s form sides.
When they needed to, they pulled out all the stops in defence, and showed some excellent attacking flair, which might have had them out of sight at half-time.
Amazingly both teams scored straight from kick-offs – Roundhegians at the start of the game and Rishworthians at the start of the second half.
The visitors’ try right at the start came from a clever chip kick by the left wing. He cleverly gathered and then linked with supporting players.
The home men responded well. They drove at the visitors’ defence, with scrum half Liam Phillips and lock Fraser Swarbrooke prominent, to win a penalty kicked by Aaron Canning.
From then it was end to end stuff, although Rishworthians created more scoring chances and might have had at least three tries.
No 8 James Clarke went over but a try was ruled out and left wing Anthony Shoesmith almost got in twice after some neat moves by the home backs, but the visitors extended their lead with a penalty.
Rishworthians were starting to dominate the breakdowns, mainly through the speed of flanker Taniela Bakoso, and took the lead just before the break with a try which started from deep in their own half.
Fullback Joe Billing set it in motion with a fine break before flanker Gerard Rollings burst through the defence, off-loading to the supporting Clarke for a fine try.
Canning added the conversion to make it 10–8 at half-time.
From the restart the home forwards protected the ball before getting it to centre Kurt Sutcliffe, who cut inside and ran 60 yards before off-loading to the supporting Phillips for the score. Canning converted.
The heavier Roundhegians pack had dominated the scrums, but when it was needed, five metres from their line, the home forwards won the ball against the head and drove their opponents back.
The visitors continued to press and brilliant defence was needed to keep them out.
Eventually Bakoso broke free and took play close to the visitors’ line before getting the ball away. It went wide and Shoesmith squeezed in at the corner.
Roundhegians fought back and while Rishworthians held off several catch and drive attempts, the defence finally cracked when the ball was shipped wide for a converted try.
A penalty near the end put the home side back on their own line, but their defence held out.