Rishworthians forced to share spoils

Damien Ball touches down for Rishworthians
Damien Ball touches down for Rishworthians

Old Rishworthians 23 Moortown 23

Rishworthians let another game they should have won slip through their fingers in the final minutes.

The visitors scored with the last move of the game and the home side had to stand agonisingly by to watch the conversion attempt.

Fortunately the kick was a very poor one and they were left to share the spoils.

But it should have been so much different thanks to Joe Billing’s unerring accuracy with the boot, which at one point looked to have given them almost certain victory.

It took them a long time however to get into the game and they were trailing 13-0 before they finally took it by the scruff of the neck.

They did start brightly and only a forward pass robbed Billing of an opening try after good work by fullback Taniela Bakoso.

Moortown then took charge and landed two penalties as they kept Rishworthians pinned down in their own 22.

After a series of scrums and penalties near the home line, the referee awarded a penalty try from a scrum even though there seemed to be no likelihood of a try coming from it.

It seemed to spur the home men on and they suddenly started to take charge. Good play between Andy Shickell and scrum half Gary Morris ended with the No 8 touching down, only to be denied a try by the referee who was unsighted.

Undeterred, Rishworthians kept up the pressure and centre Matthew Hunt-Brown made a good break to put player-coach Damian Ball in for a try, which Billing converted.

In the last minute of the half they almost got over again after good work by replacement James Clarke on his return after a lengthy spell of injury.

Trailing 13-7 Rishworthians started the second half as they finished the first and were soon ahead.

Good play by Shickell and Clarke took play close to the Moortown line. The ball was then recycled but a loose pass looked to have spoiled the chance until centre Kurt Sutcliffe picked up the ball to scoot over.

Billing added the conversion and then kicked two penalties as the home men kept up the pressure.

Leading 20-13 they looked to have the game won until a speculative kick by the visitors brought a sloppy attempt at clearance which handed the ball straight back and they ran in an unconverted try in the corner.

Rishworthians were still pressing and left wing Anthony Shoesmith followed up a long kick to take them near to the visitors’ line, but they could not force their way over.

But the pressure brought a penalty and Billing obliged to increase the lead to five points.

In the last seconds an offside decision brought a penalty in a position which seemed to hold little threat, but a clever kick crossfield was well gathered by the Moortown left wing who crossed in the corner, although he too looked suspiciously offside.

A frustrated Rishworthian side was left to stand with fingers crossed for the conversion attempt.

It was more points dropped for the home team, who but for similar situations in other games might have been among the promotion contenders.