Rishworthians safe after crushing win

Chris Flanagan of Old Rishworthians on the burst against Roundhegians
Chris Flanagan of Old Rishworthians on the burst against Roundhegians

Old Rishworthians 43 Roundhegians 5

It was job done for Rishworthians as they ensured their Yorkshire Two status for next season with a win which took them above their opponents and left them only one point behind the two teams ahead of them.

The game was a vital one for the Copley club as their two remaining fixtures are against clubs striving for promotion and it also meant it put them clear of the relegation places.

While they stuttered at times in the first half, it was a totally dominant performance in the second period which ensured they could not be overhauled for a relegation place by Ripon, who they beat last week.

It was a nervous start by both teams in an error-strewn first 15 minutes, although the home side were held up on the line after a strong run by wing Chris Flanagan.

Then locks Frank Watene and Jioti Bakoso combined well in midfield after Rishworthians stole a lineout and, although the ball went loose, flanker Richard Wild was able to pick up and score. Fullback Joe Billing added the conversion.

They soon went further ahead after left wing Anthony Shoesmith robbed the ball from an opponent in the tackle and it went out for player-coach Damian Ball to jink his way over. Billing converted.

After going 14 points up, though, Rishworthians seemed to lose their way and were on the defensive for the rest of the half, the visitors managing to cut the arrears by half-time with a fine try in the corner by the right wing, who gathered a clever crossfield kick.

Centre Danny Hoyle almost got in just after the restart, but it gained a penalty for Billing to stretch the lead.

Roundhegians continued a first half tactic of high kicks, but Billing dealt confidently with them all to get his side moving.

A fine break from No 8 James Clarke, taken on by Ball eventually brought a scrum. The ball came out to centre Kurt Sutcliffe, who made a half-break to put Shoesmith in wide out.

Scrum half Gary Morris then stole the ball well in a tackle and sent it out for Sutcliffe to score the fourth try for a bonus point. Billing converted.

With Rishworthians rampant, the ball came to Clarke from a tap penalty and he crashed over. Billing added the conversion.

Near the end, Hoyle made a fine break and linked with Watene, who put Sutcliffe in for his second try and Billing again added the conversion to round off a convincing win.