Town earns Rishworthians welcome win

Rhys Town
Rhys Town

Knottingley 10 Old Rishworthians 11

Rishworthians climbed two places up the Yorkshire Two table with a gritty performance at Knottingley.

The second half was scoreless as both sides cancelled out each other, but aggressive defence in the last 15 minutes saw the visitors weather the storm and finish on the attack.

It was an important game for both sides as they sought to put greater distance between themselves and the bottom two.

Rishworthians were missing four first team regulars, but in a fine performance by the pack, Ben Robinson, Frank Watene and James Clarke led the way.

Flanker Robinson was everywhere, Watene provided the strength in midfield and Clarke put in a number of strong runs from No 8.

Teenage winger Rhys Town, again provided the highlight of the match with a fine try on the stroke of half-time, which eventually turned into the match winner.

Rishworthians attacked from the start and soon pushed the Knottingley pack back to win a scrum against the head.

Watene and Clarke linked well with stand-off Damian Ball to set up a chance which led to a successful penalty from flanker Fraser Swarbrooke.

They might have scored wide out, but a pass to Town went to ground after a fine break by Clarke.

The Rishworthian pack again pushed their opponents back to win another scrum against the head, which eventually led to a second successful penalty from Swarbrooke.

The visitors had a chance to increase their lead after a fine tackle by Robinson brought a turnover and he got the backs moving, but they could not turn it into points.

Rishworthians were penalised for not straight in a scrum and a quickly taken free kick caught them napping and they were unable to recover to stop a converted try.

Tackling by the Copley men turned sloppy and it took despairing tackles by left wing Anthony Shoesmith and fullback Gerard Rollings to prevent a try, but it led to a penalty and Knottingley made it 10-6.

It gave the home side confidence, but the visitors held firm and worked the ball well out of defence, sending it wide to Town who rounded two defenders to race over for an outstanding try.

Swarbrooke slipped in the unsuccessful conversion attempt but the whistle went to give Rishworthians the slenderest of leads to go into the second half.

Both sides had to defend well, throughout the second period. Both made mistakes and missed tackles by Rishworthians almost let the home side in.

Shoesmith almost got in on the left and replacement Nick Faulkner was set to score on the right, but a forward pass ruled it out.

Near the end the visitors had to withstand great home pressure, but then came away and finished the game in control and on the attack.

Rishworthian seconds beat Ilkley 18-0 at Copley with tries by Danny Hoyle and Liam Phillips and two penalties and a conversion by Josh Kelly.