Old Rishworthians were unable to maintain their first half momentum and in the end had to settle for a losing bonus point as they went down 18-17 in Yorkshire Two at Ripon.
They were looking good at half-time, leading 14–3, but were unable to take control in the second half as the home side put them under pressure in their own territory.
That was also how the game started with Ripon on the attack for the first five minutes pinning Rishworthians down near their own line and it was only good solid defence which kept them out.
The visitors survived and came back strongly, but their play was too loose and chances went begging.
It took more than 20 minutes for the first score. Rishworthians won a scrum and flanker Jacob Bower drove over, only to be held up.
From the resulting scrum the ball came out and when fly half Tom Andrews was stopped Bower was there again to pick up and dive over for the try. Josh Kelly converted.
Ripon hit back and left wing Anthony Shoesmith had to come across the field to save the day when a kick and chase looked likely to bring a try. A minute later though a Ripon penalty reduced the arrears.
Fullback Joe Billing gathered a clearance kick and broke through in the centre. Lock Fraser Swarbrooke supported well and almost made the line, but popped the ball up for flanker Ethan Pollard to touch down. Kelly converted to give Rishworthians an 11-point lead at the break.
That lead was reduced early in the second half with a Ripon penalty before Shoesmith and Gerard Rollings nearly got in, but they did enough to win a penalty.
Rishworthians declined the kick and went for touch, but the lineout was claimed by the tall Ripon locks, who went on to totally dominate the throws until the end of the game.
The visitors did get another chance and this time Kelly kicked it to restore their lead.
The home side went up a gear and Rishworthians were starved of possession for much of the rest of the game.
Even when they regained the ball, they could do little with it and barely got out of their own half.
Thanks to their lineout Ripon got close to the visitors’ line and after a series of pick and go attempts forced their way over for an unconverted try to make it 11–17.
They were at it again minutes later with the same result, although the conversion put them a point ahead.
Rishworthians could do little in response to get out of their own half and were on the back foot for the remainder of the match as the home side prevented them from doing anything with the ball.
Rishworthians’ Development team, also playing at Ripon, thrashed their hosts 57–3 with nine tries. The scorers were Stevie Richardson, Kurt Sutcliffe (2), Ben Waud, Kris Hattam, Harry Doherty, Lee Atkinson, Cam Emery and Finn Sutcliffe, who also kicked six conversions.