Old Rishworthians are through to their first Yorkshire Shield final after a 21-14 win over Middlesbrough at Copley yesterday.
Josh Kelly’s seven penalty goals earned them a date with league runners-up Scarborough at Hull Ionians on May 13 (3:15).
It was a great victory by the Copley men, who were playing their third game in eight days against a team who are third in Yorkshire One and hadn’t lost since January 27, when they went down to Scarborough.
Both teams had key players missing. The hosts were without Harvey Keighley-Payne and Sam Nunn, who were injured in the midweek game against Hullensians, and the unavailable Josh Crickmay.
They struggled in the first half playing into a strong wind against a visiting side who had won along the road at Heath the previous Saturday.
The earlier exchanges were fast and furious. Anthony Shoesmith was penalised for a high tackle but Matthew Todd missed the kick at goal.
Edward Cockroft combined with Harry Whitfield to put pressure on the Middlesbrough defence but from a further penalty which was kicked to the corner, Liam Wilson won the line out. Following a scrum, flanker Euan Tremblett scored a try converted by Todd.
The Middlesbrough three quarters were looking dangerous and only a ast ditch tackle by Chris Stone prevented a further early score.
Kelly combined with Cockroft and from the break the visitors were penalised for off side. Kelly kicked his first penalty.
However, Wilson scored near the posts and the conversion by Todd enabled the visitors to increase their lead.
Richard Bullough and Greg Day were brought on after 20 minutes and they had an immediate effect. Line out ball was won more easily but full back Sam Bake was penalised for holding on.
The visitors kicked for the corner again, but this time the home defence broke up play. Luke Flanagan kicked on and the ball just bounced away from him, otherwise a try would have been scored.
The Copley men started retaining possession and at last the game was being played in the visitors half. Another Kelly penalty made it 6-14 and the game was changing.
Shoesmith intercepted a floating pass from Todd and set off for the line but the referee brought play back to the halfway line for a penalty to the visitors.
The scrum was settling and several yards were gained for No 8 Jack Andrews to run and cause problems for Middlesbrough.
Bake caught the ball on the 10 metre line, kicked forward and tackled full back Brendan Hill in the 22. Hill was penalised and Kelly kicked another penalty.
The Copley men were using the wind to their advantage and following a high tackle Kelly made it 12-14.
Ben Sutcliffe and Doug Heseltine were combining well in the centre and defended well with Sutcliffe, stopping Peter Homan in his tracks.
A Kelly penalty hit an upright but he kicked the Copley side in front after Hill, who was starting to look unsure under the high ball and was targeted by Cockroft and Kelly, was penalised.
The game was opening up and Shoesmith nearly scored. The referee penalised Middlesbrough again and Kelly made it 18-14.
Ben Waud came on and immediately made a shuddering tackle. Kelly continued to bombard Hill, who was making mistakes with Sutcliffe, Bake and Waud winning the ball
Another tackle by Waud led to Middlesbrough being penalised again and Kelly completed the scoring.