Rishies’ backs hold the key

Old Rishworthians' Fraser Swarbrooke about to score
Old Rishworthians' Fraser Swarbrooke about to score

Old Rishworthians beat visitors Wath upon Dearne 17-10 in Yorkshire Two in the first meeting between the clubs since September 2010.

It was a match of two halves in which the forward power of the visitors was broken up by the sound defence and outstanding play by the home backs.

Kicking off with the wind, Rishworthians gave away three penalties in the first 10 minutes but Wath did not have a goal kicker of note and the penalties were kicked to touch.

From the line outs good defence by Fraser Swarbrooke and Ryan Mudd enabled the home side to clear.

After 15 minutes further pressure by the Wath forwards enabled scrum half Cairns to score near the posts but the conversion was missed.

At last Rishworthians started winning some ball and outside half Josh Kelly made 40 metres with a kick to the corner.

Joe Billing missed two penalties but the game was starting to change as the Wath forwards were losing the ball.

James Clarke produced a typical run where a defender was flattened and he scored a try in the corner which was well converted by Billing.

With more ball the backs were able to cause problems. Matthew Hunt Brown and Jack Ledgard showed pace and skill, aided by sniping runs from scrum half Liam Phillips.

Wath won line out ball and just before the end of the first half Cairns scored another unconverted try to make the half time score 7-10.

For the second week running the half time team talk by coach Chris Stone and captain Swarbrooke had the desired effect as the second half produced some excellent running rugby.

Hunt-Brown caught the kick off deep in his 22 and beat three Wath players. After 40 metres he off-loaded to Phillips and with support from Harvey Keighley-Payne and Jack Ledgard the centre scored an unconverted try in the corner.

Old Rishworthians applied further pressure and Luke Illingworth, Phil Kershaw and Gez Rollings won a turnover with Nick Faulkner making himself difficult to stop. From a move near the Wath line the ball was dropped and the flowing move up the field ended.

With more ball the backs looked more dangerous. Billing ran the ball after a break by Gary Morris, who had replaced Phillips. Gaps eventually appeared and Fraser Swarbrooke scored a well taken try in the corner.