Rishworthians take positives from defeat

Reuben Pollard.
Reuben Pollard.

Barnsley 30 Old Rishworthians 7

The scoreline was not a true reflection of this Yorkshire Two game and somewhat flattering to the high-flying home side.

Rishworthians were competitive throughout, had their own chances to score and were resolute in defence, their performance bringing praise from the home players.

Prop Reuben Pollard was outstanding in a pack which battled well against much heavier opponents, especially after losing two of their most influential players during the match to injury, flanker Fraser Swarbrooke (ankle) and No 8 James Clarke (ribs).

It looked ominous for Rishworthians when they conceded a try within minutes when the home side’s huge, heavy lock crashed over from a few yards, despite a valiant effort in a complete mismatch with scrum half Gary Morris.

A penalty extended the home lead to eight points, but Rishworthians fought back.

Clarke went close after good work with Swarbrooke and lock Jioti Bakoso, but the visitors were forced back from an interception.

They continued to defend well, however, until classy play from the Barnsley centre, who was the real difference between the teams, brought another try wide out.

Clarke was then stopped just short of the home line with the last act of the half.

Soon after the restart Barnsley increased their lead with a long range penalty and then another try from a strong run by the centre, which was converted.

Rishworthians lost teenage centre Josh Deane to a yellow card, but responded well holding out for the 10-minute period and even almost scoring themselves in the corner from a forward drive.

A sustained period of Barnsley pressure finally brought a converted fourth try, the No 8 finishing off a forward drive.

But the visitors were not done and mounted pressure for the remaining 10 minutes. Left wing Anthony Shoesmith almost got in with a searing run through the centre, before they got the try they deserved.

Close to the home line, they won a scrum. The ball went out and was then brought back for replacement Paddy Kerr to take the inside pass and crash over from a few yards out. Deane added the conversion.

While they did not get the result, Rishworthians can take heart with their performance, which should steer them in the right direction for the challenges to come in their efforts to remain in Yorkshire Two.