Defence key to Rishies’ win

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Old Rishworthians won 24-7 away to Leeds Medics and Dentists yesterday, doing enough to come away with another Yorkshire Two bonus point victory.

While they made too many mistakes, particularly in the second half, they had a defensive stranglehold on the Leeds students.

The home side had plenty of possession but could not break the visitors’ defensive wall, apart from when one rare missed tackle let them in for a solitary converted try on the stroke of half-time.

It was a good first half performance from Rishworthians and they started the second well, grabbing the bonus point fourth try. After that they made heavy weather of it, failing to use the wide pitch to their advantage.

They started the game on the attack and scored from the first scrum, No 8 Andy Shickell picking up and linking with scrum half Gary Morris, who put right wing Joe Billing over in the corner.

The Copley men were soon on the scoresheet again. Fullback Matthew Hunt-Brown caught a clearance kick and ran it back, linking with left wing Anthony Shoesmith, who took on the defence before slipping the ball inside for player-coach Damian Ball to touch down.

The home side tried to hit back, but solid defence allowed them to make little progress.

When hooker Jack Smart took one of several balls against the head, centre Taniela Bakoso showed great strength to break through several tackles to score a fine try. Billing converted.

One missed tackle then allowed the home side to score with the last act of the half, but Rishworthians went into the break leading 17-7.

Rishworthians opened the second half strongly, pressing the home line for several minutes before Andy Shickell picked up at a scrum and forced his way through several tacklers to score and crown a towering performance. Billing added the goal.

From then on the game petered out.

The one great chance came when replacement scrum half Liam Phillips put Shoesmith in the clear but the referee ruled a forward pass.

An under-strength Rishworthian second team went down 33–10 at Castleford. Brad Fowls and Tom Higginbottom got the two tries.