Old Rishworthians “won ugly” at Bradford Salem in Yorkshire One yesterday, coming out on top 17-14.
After an error-strewn first half in heavy conditions, they took the spoils with some determined defence, pinning Salem in their own half and coming from behind to gain success.
Both sides tried to run the ball and the visitors might have been better to have kept the play tight, even though they were missing prop Josh Crickmay and back rower Jack Andrews, who had not recovered from injury.
Rishworthians dropped the greasy ball too many times in the first half and were made to pay by the home side. One dropped ball in midfield brought a score as Salem were quick to pick up and run to the line for a converted try.
Rishworthians hit back keeping play tighter with prop Harry Whitfield making inroads into the home defence.
He was held up over the line and the visitors could not quite get the touch down from the scrum. The ball came out and wing Anthony Shoesmith was also held up.
This time the scrum proved successful with a pushover try touched down by No 8 Gerard Rollings.
Scrum half Ed Cockroft added the conversion to level the scores and was then successful with a 45-metre penalty.
Salem hit straight back, though, finding acres of space on Rishworthians’ right flank to run in a simple converted try.
The visitors looked certain to score with the last move of the half, but again the ball was dropped and they went into the break trailing 14-10.
They soon went ahead after the restart. A kick from stand-off Josh Kelly gave good field position and from a lineout replacement Nick Faulkner drove into the home defence.
The ball was recycled and Shoesmith came inside to burst through. He was high-tackled as he crossed the line and the referee awarded a penalty try.
From then on Rishworthians played a containing game with some aggressive defence and while Salem gained plenty of possession they could do nothing with it.
They were desperate for the points to pull clear of the relegation dogfight, but they met a wall of defence from the visitors which kept them pinned in their own half for the rest of the game.
It was not pretty, but it was a tricky fixture and Rishworthians can feel pleased to have come away with a victory.
At Copley the development team beat Yarnbury 28-3. There were two tries by Kurt Sutcliffe and two others from Marcelo Pinto and Ben Sutcliffe. Sam Bake kicked four conversions.