Rishworthians win in north east
Rishworthians won a gruelling battle 27-24 away to Yorkshire One newcomers Guisborough to register their first league victory of the season.
There were problems on the 90-mile journey which meant the kick-off was delayed, but it seemed to have little effect on Rishworthians although they had to defend well against the home side’s pick and go tactics.
It was a mixed bag in the tight with the home side dominating the lineouts while Rishworthians were far superior in the set scrums.
Guisborough’s pick and go tactics finally paid off after 17 minutes with a prop crashing over from close range for an unconverted try.
When the home left wing picked up a dropped ball and ran in at the corner for a second unconverted try, it looked like being a long afternoon for the visitors.
Instead, it seemed to spur Rishworthians with outstanding performances in the forwards from props Josh Crickmay and Ryan Mudd and No 8 Jack Andrews, while in the backs teenage fullback Sam Bake was the man of the match.
A drive from Crickmay led to a fine break by Andrews who off-loaded for flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne to cruise over. Josh Kelly, who had an excellent game with the boot, converted.
It was all Rishworthians and within a minute they took the lead when centre Doug Heseltine picked up a loose ball and raced over. Kelly converted and then added a penalty resulting from good work by Mudd.
As the half ended Rishworthians almost got over during a penalty advantage before the referee brought play back and Kelly slotted the ball over to give them a 20-10 half-time lead.
From the restart they were off again and threatened with a good move involving Crickmay, wing Joe Billing and skipper Fraser Swarbrooke.
The home side got their pick and go game working again with their big pack taking play close to the Rishworthian line, from where a quickly-taken penalty caught the visitors napping for a converted try.
Soon after another pick and go surge brought another forwards try, which was converted to give the home side a 24-20 lead.
Rishworthians hit back, throwing the ball about. They could not break through and eventually a series of poor passes allowed the home side to kick the ball clear.
It landed in the arms of fullback Bake just inside the home half. He set off across the field and then cut back to go through leaving defenders trailing to score a richly-deserved individual try. Kelly converted to give his side a three-point lead.
The home side seemed to have little other than their pick and go tactics but the visitors had all on to survive.
Things got worse with 11 minutes to go when Kelly and Guisborough centre Josh Corcoran were yellow-carded after an incident on the Rishworthian line.
With five minutes to go Guisborough got an easy penalty but opted to kick to touch for a catch and drive attempt, which Rishworthians defended well.
Two minutes later and even easier penalty was declined and again the visitors dealt with the lineout effectively.
They held on and eventually came away with the ball and ended the game on the attack.