Determined Leos beat Rishies
Old Rishworthians lost 24-15 away to relegation-threatened Leodiensians, who knew they had to win and pulled it out of the bag with tries at the end of each half.
Even with almost half their first team regulars missing, Rishworthians could still have won this Yorkshire Two game.
They gave a chance to a number of young players and had plenty of opportunities but things went against them. Little that they tried seemed to come off, although they played some good rugby and defended well.
Twice centre Matthew Hunt-Brown was through, only for a last-ditch ankle tap to deny him. Player-coach Chris Stone got over after some good work by prop Phil Kershaw only for the last pass to be called forward.
With four players missing from the pack it was always going to be difficult against the heavier Leos forwards, but the visitors stuck to their task.
With stand-off Josh Kelly pulling out after injuring an ankle in training on Thursday, Joe Billing stepped up to the position and ended with 10 points.
But with all the changes it took some time for the Copley men to gel before they became camped in the home 22.
The home side finally broke out and caught Rishworthians napping to score a converted try wide out, with the last act of the first half.
The visitors started the second period badly conceding a long range penalty to go 10 points behind.
Teenager Jacob Bower came on and immediately made an impact.
He made a strong break before linking with flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne, who put Billing in for a fine try, which he converted and then added a penalty to level the scores.
Leos came back strongly, putting Rishworthians under pressure and Bower pulled off a fine try-saving tackle.
Pressure told, however, and winger James Lund jinked his way over for a converted try.
The visitors came straight back and Hunt-Brown and Kershaw both went close before fullback Liam Phillips took a long pass and dived over wide out. Billing’s conversion attempt drifted just wide.
With little time left the visitors made a complete hash of the restart, putting themselves under pressure and the determined home side took advantage and ran in a third converted try.
There was just time for Rishworthians to restart, but the game quickly petered out.
At Copley, the Development team went down 29 – 23 to a Cleckheaton XV. There were tries for Oliver Marshall, Max Spolverato and two for Will McDonnell, who also kicked a penalty.