Rishworthians fail to overcome leaders

Old Rishworthians v Bradford Salem'Damian Ball scores
Old Rishworthians v Bradford Salem'Damian Ball scores

Old Rishworthians 10 Bradford Salem 35

While the score was somewhat flattering for the Yorkshire Two leaders, it meant another defeat to one of the top teams for Rishworthians.

It was a tough competitive game throughout and being only 10-14 down at half-time the home side felt they had a great chance.

They opened up the second half strongly, attacking the Salem line until an interception try rocked them back and they never really recovered.

After early pressure from the visitors at the start of the game, Rishworthians might have scored at least twice as they pounded the Salem line.

No 8 Andy Shickell almost got over twice after strong runs and flanker Gerard Rollings and right wing Chris Flanagan linked well to almost get hooker Luke Illingworth in at the corner.

The home side went ahead in bizarre circumstances. Salem took a lineout so quickly their own players were not ready. The ball went loose and Damian Ball was the only one to react, picking up and almost strolling over with players from both sides rooted to the spot. Fullback Joe Billing added the conversion.

The visitors fought back and a speculative kick through led to a five-metre scrum. Their attempt at a pushover brought a Rishworthian infringement and a penalty try. The conversion levelled the scores.

Billing put the home side ahead again with a penalty after good work by Rishworthians’ two outstanding forwards, Fraser Swarbrooke and Ryan Mudd.

But sloppy tackling allowed the visitors to take the lead for the first time with a converted try just before the break.

The promise of the second half ended with the early interception try and while Rishworthians had struggled up front, it brought renewed confidence to Salem and they dominated the second period.

Desperate home defence on the line brought a further converted try as the ball was shipped out to the right winger, who found room to touch down in the corner.

The scoring was completed with another converted try as a Salem player won the race to touch down after a hack through from defence.