Rishworthians stage action replay
Old Rishworthians completed a fine Yorkshire One double over Keighley, coming out on top by 29-7 at Copley yesterday with almost a mirror image of their November away win.
Again Keighley dominated the opening exchanges and went ahead with a try, only for Rishworthians to dominate the scrums and see out the second half with a quality performance for another bonus point win.
Apart from the dominance up front there was an excellent display from teenage centres Sam Bake and debutant Ben Sutcliffe.
In the first quarter it was all defence for Rishworthians, led by flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne. Time and time again the home men had to scramble the ball away from near their line.
The pressure eventually told with a converted try wide on the right.
That seemed to inspire Rishworthians. A great move involving flanker Nick Faulkner, No 8 Gerard Rollings and left wing Anthony Shoesmith saw them cross the line, only to be brought back for a forward pass.
The dominance in the scrum had already started with the front five of Harry Whitfield, Chris Stone, Josh Crickmay, Callum Heseltine and skipper Fraser Swarbrooke tearing their opposite numbers apart.
From the scrum following the forward pass they drove Keighley back and crossed the line. They were denied on the first occasion but from the next scrum Faulkner put Rollings over for an unconverted try.
Keighley-Payne then picked up from a breakdown and put in a strong run which brought a penalty kicked by scrum half Ed Cockroft.
After a brilliant break Sutcliffe was denied what appeared a good try and Rishworthians went into the break leading 8-7 – exactly as they had at Keighley four months earlier.
As well as dominating up front, the home side brought their backs into play with right wing Joe Billing, fullback Luke Flanagan and stand-off Josh Kelly all working well.
They had to defend in the opening minutes of the second period but great tackling saw the ball go loose for left wing Shoesmith to pick up and run 60 metres to score under the posts. Cockroft converted.
Faulkner put Whitfield away on a barnstorming run. He was held up just short but got the ball away for fellow prop Crickmay to bulldoze over. Cockroft converted.
Rishworthians then broke away from their own half with Swarbrooke twice involved in the move before putting Whitfield away on another strong run. The ball came out for Sutcliffe to score a richly deserved debut try and earn his side a bonus point. Cockroft added the conversion.
Rishworthians almost got away for another near the end with Bake, Billing and Rollings involved in a quality move.
The Development team lost 22-19 at Keighley. Tries came from Phil Kershaw, Will McDonnell and Kurt Sutcliffe, who also kicked two conversions.