Change of tactics pays dividends

Josh Crickmay
Josh Crickmay

Old Rishworthians put in a dominant second half performance to come away with a fine 27-7 bonus point win on Keighley’s new 3G pitch.

The first half was littered with mistakes from both sides and while Rishworthians went in with the slimmest of leads, by 8-7, too often they had been guilty of kicking possession away, mostly into the hands of Keighley’s back three.

By the second half they had changed tactics and totally turned things around, allowing the home side very little opportunity to increase their score, with some awesome defensive work which quickly put them on the attack.

The game had started differently with Keighley dominating possession and scoring a converted try within five minutes with a burst at pace through the centre.

Rishworthians rallied and fullback Jacob Ford was unlucky to be tackled while picking up a loose ball a few metres out after a kick through.

An ensuing lineout was well taken and the pack drove over only to be ruled held up.

Stand-off Josh Kelly reduced the arrears with a penalty and soon after more pressure and a fine offload from flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne brought rewards with prop Harry Whitfield storming over. Kelly’s kick in front of the posts was charged down.

The rest of the half was an even affair, full of mistakes from both sides and a number of handling errors.

Rishworthians opened the second half strongly with forwards Keighley-Payne, Whitfield and No 8 Jack Andrews all prominent.

Eventually scrum half Ed Cockroft rescued the ball from a ruck and fed it wide with centre Ben Waud taking the final pass to score in the corner. Kelly converted with a fine kick.

Rishworthians continued to dominate and whenever Keighley tried to break through they were forced back with left wing Anthony Shoesmith scooping up the loose ball several times to put them back on the offensive.

From a fumble near the home line the visitors had a series of scrums but when a penalty try looked likely Rishworthians were penalised instead.

They continued to hold off any attempt by Keighley to break through and eventually replacement centre Sam Bake picked up a loose ball and made good ground to gain a penalty.

Cockroft kicked his side into the home 22. His forwards produced a strong drive and he was able to make a long pass to put Olly Scrimshaw in at the corner for an unconverted try.

Shoesmith gathered another loose ball and almost put Cockroft in before replacement No 8 Nick Faulkner crashed over for the bonus point try. Kelly converted.

Keighley tried hard to get something from the game, but the defence held and the last five minutes were highlighted by a fine break between Waud and Luke Flanagan and a brilliant barnstorming 60-yard dash along the touchline by Whitfield.

At Copley the Development team beat Keighley seconds 27-15. Gerard Rollings scored three tries and Oliver Marshall added a fourth. Joe Billing kicked two conversions and a penalty.