Old Rishworthians climbed off the bottom of Yorkshire One with a spirited and aggressive performance in a 22-17 win at Selby yesterday.
It was a fixture they had always thought winnable and one which they never looked like losing.
“There was so much spirit. We fronted up and had some belief in ourselves,” said player-coach Chris Stone.
“We always looked good with the ball and the young lads who played were all brilliant.”
Things did not go well at the start, a knock-on from the kick-off leaving Rishworthians having to defend for the first five minutes and conceding the first points from a penalty.
They fought back, but good moves were spoiled at the last pass stage and they suffered a major blow when No 8 James Clarke came off with a knee injury.
Josh Kelly failed with a penalty from halfway, but he was on hand to level the scores less than a minute later.
Rishworthians then turned down a penalty kick to go for touch. Fraser Swarbrooke took the ball at the lineout and was driven over with prop Phil Kershaw, who crowned an outstanding game with the touchdown. Kelly added the conversion.
Hardly had the game restarted than the visitors went further ahead. A flowing move broke down, but the ball was kicked through and centre Tom Andrews ran on to touch down. Kelly added the conversion to give his side a 17-3 half-time lead.
Predictably the home side came out strongly and Rishworthians, having lost wing Chris Flanagan to injury, had to defend.
They stopped a catch and drive attempt, but a series of pick and go moves ended with Selby prop Duncan Hardy touching down a converted try.
Selby could not get going again and made numerous mistakes in the face of aggressive Rishworthians defence, led in the forwards by Harvey Keighley-Payne, Toby Muscat-Baron and Ethan Pollard and in the backs by Doug Heseltine.
When the visitors regained possession, they spun the ball wide for Andrews to put fullback Luke Flanagan in at the corner for a fine try.
From there Rishworthians shut down everything Selby tried and looked to be cruising to a comfortable win.
In the end they gave away a score with the last move of the match. A mix-up at the base of the scrum allowed a kick through and Selby winger Ashton Dallimore ran on to gather the ball and score. The successful conversion was the last act of the game and left a richly deserved victory for Rishworthians.
The Development team lost 29-19 to Selby seconds at Copley. Luke Sutcliffe scored a try and Anthony Shoesmith added two more. Joe Billing kicked two conversions.