Home defeat for Rishworthians

Rishworthians v Pontefract'Will McDonnell tackle
Rishworthians v Pontefract'Will McDonnell tackle

Old Rishworthians lost by 20-12 to Pontefract in their first home match of the season in Yorkshire One.

Conditions were very poor with much-needed rain falling throughout the first half. The visitors played into it and towards the club house.

Their dangerous backs, led by scrum half Callum Watts, moved the ball well and following a scrum Rishworthians conceded a penalty on the 22. Watts kicked the goal.

Josh Crickmay and Chris Stone began to make inroads into the Pontefract three quarters with their powerful running and after 15 minutes Josh Kelly kicked a penalty for offside.

Kelly began to control the game and good line out takes by Harvey Keighley-Payne and Fraser Swarbrooke led to play being centred in the Pontefract half.

Further pressure saw the visitors penalised at a ruck and on 32 minutes Kelly kicked a further penalty.

The visitors back row, with Gareth Burns leading the way, started to make yards into the home half and from a quick move and some poor tackling Craig Forcett scored a try under the posts and the conversion was kicked by Watts.

Kelly kicked a further penalty and soon after he kicked the ball across field to the waiting Joe Billing, who appeared to have scored but referee Tony Smith thought otherwise and it was 9-10 at half time.

The weather improved in the second half and the Copley scrum started to shove Pontefract backwards. The visitors were not penalised and Burns was able to tidy up and charge forwards on several occasions.

Will McDonnell was high tackled and replaced by Ethan Pollard, who was making his debut.

Sam Bake started making inroads into the visitors defence and on several occasions the final pass went astray. One move involving Bake, Luke Flanagan and McDonnell, who had now returned, almost produced a try but Pontefract cleared their lines.

Doug Heseltine made several breaks but lacked support.

With 12 minutes to go Pontefract gained possession in the home half and following penalties conceded by the Copley men, Forcett scored a try under the posts converted by Watts to make it 9-17.

Kelly kicked another penalty but were Rishworthians were denied a losing bonus point following a high tackle when Watts kicked a penalty.

Rishworthians remain without a league point. The positives in their performance were the scrum and line outs but the negative was too much kicking.