Rishworthians lose out in mudbath

Old Rishworthians ready to scrum down against Barnsley. Picture: Jade Smith
Old Rishworthians ready to scrum down against Barnsley. Picture: Jade Smith

Old Rishworthians 13 Barnsley 14

Rishworthians were literally bogged down in the last quarter of this Yorkshire Two mudbath.

The Barnsley pack dominated most of the second half and even though the home side snuffed out any chance of a try, they forced two penalties in front of the posts to win the game.

Rishworthians created enough chances in the first half to win, but were not as clinical as last week when they demolished Moortown.

Kicks near the posts were the only ones likely to be successful out of the quagmire as fullback Joe Billing proved with his first unsuccessful attempt, while another effort much nearer the posts at the other end gave the visitors an early lead.

The game hinged on a refereeing decision in the second half when what appeared to both sides a perfectly good Rishworthian try was called back.

While the Copley men scored in the corner from the resulting scrum, the touchline kick was an impossible one in the mud, while the position from the disallowed try was much nearer the posts and a successful conversion could have won the game.

The performances in the mud were a credit to both sides, in a game which had always seemed likely to be called off and in which Rishworthians had to change to a clean strip in the second half to distinguish players.

Drop-outs were difficult as the ball stuck in the mud, but somehow from a 22 drop-out Billing managed a low kick across field, which was scooped up by centre Kurt Sutcliffe. He slipped it to right wing Rhys Town who beat off would-be tacklers in a 60-yard run to the line.

Rishworthians still tried to run the ball wherever possible and several times almost got through, but the mud made it difficult.

They forced their way over in the forwards but were held up. Barnsley fought back and scored a pushover try with the last move of the first half to lead 8-5 at the break.

Early in the second half Billing levelled the scores with a penalty before the controversial decision.

A kick through was hacked on by Sutcliffe and Town raced on to touch the ball down.

With players standing around getting ready for the conversion, the referee, after much deliberation, decided he had not seen the ball grounded and gave a five-metre scrum in Rishworthians’ favour.

From it the ball went along the line and left wing Anthony Shoesmith scored in the corner.

There was no chance for Billing with the kick, but the score seemed to inspire Barnsley and their bigger, heavier pack dominated the rest of the game forcing the winning penalties.

Rishworthians seconds lost 10-8 to Halifax Dukes at Ovenden Park. Phil Kershaw scored a try and Josh Kelly kicked a penalty.