Rishies out-muscled by Salem

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Old Rishworthians were blown away in the set scrums and struggled in the lineout, but the issue was in doubt right up to the end in a 26-22 home defeat by Bradford Salem yesterday.

The visitors were in complete command in the scrums, winning the ball against the head and driving the home side back on their own put-in near the line to score a try.

Rishworthians came back strongly, but two penalties near the end decided the issue.

It started off in the worst possible way for the home side, with a dropped ball from the kick-off and Salem took advantage, eventually forcing a scrum close to the line, from which scrum half Kristan Dobson jinked over after only four minutes.

Josh Kelly reduced the arrears with a penalty, before Dobson was on hand to burst through again and put right wing Jake Green in at the corner.

Kelly was just wide with a penalty attempt from within his own half before a fine break from man of the match right wing Luke Flanagan gained valuable ground and led to a successful long range kick from Kelly to further reduce the arrears.

Left wing Anthony Shoesmith, making his first start of the season, showed his worth by gathering in unlikely fashion. That set his forwards going, with the ball eventually being moved out for centre Ben Hinsley to cruise over and give Rishworthians a one point lead.

Then came the try from the Rishworthian scrum as the home side were driven back for a pushover. It was converted to give the visitors a 17-11 half-time lead.

Kelly quickly reduced the arrears with a penalty early in the second half.

It gave the Copley men new impetus and despite being pushed back in the scrums and struggling in the lineouts, they came back strongly to take the lead.

It started with player-coach Chris Stone doing well to recover a loose ball and his forwards came round to help secure possession. It was fed out to Hinsley, who put in an inch perfect kick for Flanagan to run on to and touch down in the corner.

Rishworthians had the better of the second half, although Salem retook the lead with a penalty before Kelly grabbed it back again with another penalty.

But it was two penalties near the end which gave the visitors the victory they just about deserved.

They might have denied Rishworthians the losing bonus point when Dobson broke away in the final minutes but the pass to replacement Dan Scarborough was not held.