Rishies’ title hopes dashed

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Old Rishworthians’ dreams of winning Yorkshire Two ended in a 10-minute spell just before half-time in a 48-16 defeat at Moortown yesterday.

Until then they had matched the league leaders and might have gone ahead if a great kick by Josh Kelly from the halfway line had not just dipped under the crossbar.

Assistant coach Tom Andrews acknowledged they were beaten by a better side and after the first 25 minutes had failed to get their territory game right.

“We looked like a team that had had a lacklustre game the week before and were trying to raise it,” he said.

“We showed we could live with them at times, but we didn’t do it often enough. We have to regroup and we will be doing that from Tuesday.

“It sets us a target, because if we go up this is the sort of game we can expect every week,” he said.

It was more than just a defeat for they look likely to have lost outstanding flanker Nick Faulkner for the rest of the season with a broken hand.

Rishworthians went behind early on when the Moortown scrum half sniped through from a ruck for a converted try. A penalty then put them 10 points in arrears.

They fought back and Kelly brought them to within a point with three successful penalties, before the fourth long range effort just dropped short.

They started to kick away possession as Moortown hit back. A penalty took them near to the visitors’ line and as they piled on the pressure almost on the line No 8 James Clarke was yellow-carded. They continued to press and gained another penalty, which was quickly taken by the scrum half who dived over for a converted try.

Rishworthians were reeling as more pressure was applied. First centre Taniela Bakoso, who had an outstanding game, pulled off a try saving tackle, then wing Luke Flanagan did the same, only for the ball to squirt loose for a supporting player to gather and score.

The conversion was the last act of the first half to give the home side a 24-9 lead.

The second half opened with Rishworthians again on their own line and a Moortown player squeezed over in the corner.

It was a signal for the visitors to have their best spell of the game. They fought back strongly and player coach Chris Stone was driven over after a fine lineout take by Ben Robinson, but he was adjudged to be held up.

With a Moortown player in the bin, Rishworthians continued to play some fine rugby led by Clarke and scrum half Ed Cockroft. The ball went through a number of hands before a short inside pass found Bakoso on the burst and he powered over. Kelly added the conversion.

It brought Rishworthians back into it, but suddenly everything seemed to go wrong. While they had held the bigger, heavier Moortown pack for much of the game, they struggled to contain Southern hemisphere players in the backs.

They found themselves back on their own line and another try came with a short burst into the corner.

It seemed to deflate the visitors and when Chris Flanagan was deceived by the flight of a high ball, it bounced nicely for the Moortown left wing for a converted try.

The game ended as Rishworthians were caught off guard by a fly-hacked kick through which brought a final converted try.

The Development team had another fine victory, by 34-17 at Halifax Vandals. There were two tries for Kurt Sutcliffe and others by Rhys Town, Gerard Rollings, Greg Day and Ollie Marshall. Town and Will McDonnell each kicked a conversion.