Rishies pay for slow starts

Beverley v Old Rishworthians
Josh Crickmay scores
Beverley v Old Rishworthians Josh Crickmay scores

Rishworthians came away with a losing bonus point from a 31-25 defeat at promotion chasing Beverley, but it could have been much more.

They lost because they were caught napping in the first 10 minutes of each half, but in each case they came back strongly and had the game been five minutes longer would probably have won.

The final score hinged on a somewhat controversial decision in a well-refereed game with Rishworthians fullback Luke Flanagan and two Beverley players all fumbling from an awkwardly bouncing high kick, with the decision to award a try going in favour of the home side in a melee on the ground.

Even without four of their most influential players, the rest of the game belonged to the visitors - although they made a disastrous start.

Beverley’s backs made early inroads and a kick through on the right saw Rishworthians beaten for pace in a race to touch down an unconverted try in the corner.

Play had hardly restarted before the visitors gave away position and were made to pay with an unconverted try in the other corner.

It looked like being a long afternoon, but instead it seemed to spur Rishworthians on and they started to dominate in the forwards.

Driving forward, lock Richard Bullough and man of the match, prop Josh Crickmay, both went close. With a penalty advantage stand-off Josh Kelly put in a high cross kick, which just drifted agonisingly out.

Play came back for the penalty and he added three points.

Luke Flanagan went close with a jinking run after linking with No 8 Jack Andrews. It led to a scrum and Andrews was able to touch down a pushover. Kelly converted.

Almost straight after Rishworthians took the lead with a Kelly penalty and kept up the pressure until half-time, but were unable to make a further breakthrough.

They went behind again almost straight from the second half restart with the high kick try and an excellent conversion.

They were soon further behind when home stand-off Phil Duboulay made a fine break to provide a pass to a supporting player for a converted try.

Bullough and flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne linked well before the ball went wide but never reached left wing Anthony Shoesmith with the line beckoning.

Rishworthians were made to pay as one missed tackle allowed fullback Luke Hazell to put in a dazzling run to the line for another converted try.

Trailing 31-13, Rishworthians dominated the rest of the match. A Kelly break and good support from Keighley-Payne and centre Ben Waud took them close.

The flanker was there again and only an ankle-tap stopped him from scoring, but Crickmay was able to gather and power over. Kelly converted.

The prop was prominent again with Bullough and Keighley-Payne as Rishworthians kept up the forward pressure.

Eventually the ball went wide and despite a loose pass, Shoesmith was able to pick up and dart over in the corner for an unconverted try. Rishworthians kept up the pressure but ran out of time.

At Copley the Development team came from behind to beat Ripon 24-18. Kurt Sutcliffe scored two tries and Will Illingworth and Oli Marshall added two more. Joe Billing kicked two conversions.