Old Rishworthians put a major dent in Scarborough’s Yorkshire One promotion hopes with a thoroughly deserved 24-18 bonus point win on the east coast yesterday.
While the home side gained plenty of possession they seemed clueless about how to break down the visitors’ aggressive defence and it was only near the end that they found a way through.
The writing was on the wall from the first kick of the match. Josh Kelly’s perfectly weighted ball was gathered brilliantly in the air by left wing Anthony Shoesmith.
He set it up and Rishworthians patiently worked their way to the home line, linking both forwards and backs until prop Josh Crickmay powered his way over from close range without a home player having touched the ball.
Scarborough had lots of ball but a solid wall of tacklers pinned them in their own half.
The defence put under so much pressure that eventually it told and Shoesmith was there to intercept and dash 40 metres to score in the corner.
Rishworthians’ front five of Harry Whitfield, Chris Stone, Crickmay, Fraser Swarbrooke and Callum Heseltine were dominant throughout, while the back row of Harvey Keighley-Payne, Nick Faulkner, Jack Andrews, and later Harry Robinson, were always quick to the tackle and breakdown.
Ben Waud at centre had his best game of the season, making several breaks and being strong in the tackle.
Finally Scarborough broke through and got close to the Rishworthian line, but the defence, with teenager Sam Bake and fullback Luke Flanagan always quick to snuff out danger, rallied and won a turnover and the ball was cleared to near halfway.
The home side took the lineout quickly, but not quickly enough and centre Sam Nunn pounced on the first pass to intercept and speed to the line for a third try, converted by scrum half Ed Cockroft to make it 17-0 at the break.
In the second half Rishworthians seemed to do little to please the referee and Scarborough finally got a foothold in the game with two Tom Ratcliffe penalties, the latter earning Keighley-Payne a yellow card.
Even with one man less the visitors’ defence held. Only once did the home men get near the Rishworthian line and even that came from a penalty kick to touch.
Then they disrupted the Scarborough ball and Cockroft was quick to gather and kick his side out of trouble.
A Kelly kick gained valuable territory and only a desperate kick to touch held back his side.
It made little difference as the now returned Keighley-Payne took a fine lineout catch.
Whitfield drove the ball close to the home line and fellow prop Crickmay took it on to power over for his second try. Cockroft converted.
Scarborough were desperate to avoid defeat and finally got their game going as Rishworthians were penalised several times for infringements.
The pressure told and hooker Sam Dawson scampered over for a converted try.
As the visitors finally tired a clever crossfield kick found replacement winger Jonty Holloway in space and he darted over in the corner for an unconverted try.
It meant an agonising three minutes for Rishworthians, but their defence continued to be solid and they saw out the game comfortably.
TO PUT further icing on the cake Rishworthians’ Development side won 29-12 at Heath with tries from James McHugh, Liam Phillips, Lee Atkinson and Ollie Marshall. Joe Billing kicked three conversions and a penalty.