Old Rishworthians 22 Knottingley 17
Rishworthians finally got the win that has eluded them for weeks but made it hard work for themselves.
They had most of the possession, but struggled to pierce the Knottingley defence and virtually gifted the visitors two tries, although twice No 8 James Clarke got over the line only to be adjudged held up.
But it was a purple patch in the second half which sealed their victory, although they might have made things easier, but for a seeming reluctance to move the ball wide.
They started the game in style, pressurising the Knottingley line. Clarke was denied for the first time then fullback Matthew Hunt-Brown almost got over.
Lock Fraser Swarbrooke was almost in on the burst before the ball was sent out to left wing Anthony Shoesmith, who got in at the corner. Joe Billing’s conversion attempt drifted wide.
Rishworthians continued to press with flanker Gerard Rollings and the Mudd brothers, prop Ryan and lock Richard causing problems for the Knottingley defence.
Suddenly the ball went loose in the visitors’ 22 and a kick through set up a chase for the line with Knottingley right wing Nicky Beach leaving the home defence standing to touch down under the posts for a converted try.
Rishworthians continued to press but were unable to break through the visitors’ defence and went in trailing 7-5 at the break.
The second half opened in the same vein, with first centre Taniela Bakoso and then player coach Damian Ball almost getting over until another loose ball led to another chase for the home line.
This time Hunt-Brown got back to save the day, but Rishworthians could not break away and a poor clearance kick was gathered and brought an unconverted try wide out to extend the visitors’ lead to seven points.
But it seemed to inspire Rishworthians and they hit back with both Ball and centre Kurt Sutcliffe being stopped just short before the ball came out to Richard Mudd, who forced his way over. Billing added the conversion to level the scores.
The Copley men continued to press, with some strong forward play before the ball came out to Bakoso, who showed great power to drive over the line. Billing converted.
An exciting move between Shoesmith, Bakoso and Billing ended with a penalty and Billing’s kick stretched the lead to 10 points.
Clarke was adjudged held up for the second time and a couple of good chances also went begging before the visitors fought back in the last 10 minutes and ran in an unconverted try in the corner, aided by some sloppy tackling, with the last move of the game.