Rishworthians rally in second half but leave it too late
Rishworthians rescued two bonus points from a game that looked completely beyond them at half-time. The top of the table Yorkshire Two clash however left them trailing their opponents by five points, but it could have been much worse.
The first half was their poorest performance of the season and 21 - 0 down at the break left them with a mountain to climb. It got even harder when another try just after the restart made the score 26 - 0. But they came back strongly to score four tries of their own to earn one bonus point and with the last act of the game fly half Josh Kelly kept a cool head to kick a difficult conversion to earn them a losing bonus point.
Things did not go well right from the start and a penalty put them back on their own line and soon a converted try behind. They hit back with a good break by fullback Luke Sutcliffe and centre Sam Bake which earned them a penalty. The three points were spurned with a quick tap and Bake and prop Jack Smart almost got in.
More and more errors came into their game and Roundhegians took advantage, breaking through a lame defence to score a converted try in the corner. Rishworthians tried to come back, but poor passing and a lack of ball retention meant they kept handing possession back to the visitors. Two more penalty chances were turned down, with neither coming to fruition. As frustration grew their tackling became sloppy and Roundhegians fly half James Dobson was able to run in virtually unopposed for a converted try on the stroke of half-time.
The second period opened in similar fashion, the last pass going astray for Rishworthians, who seemed incapable of getting it right, with more mistakes creeping in. They had to reshuffle when Bake went off with a shoulder injury. The visitors took advantage again and a clever crossfield kick was gathered for a try in the corner.
Finally the home side started to get it together and a tap penalty near the visitors' line saw several players almost get over before eventually prop Phil Kershaw managed to touch down. Kelly's conversion attempt hit a post, bounced on the crossbar and stayed out.
Rishworthians at last increased the pace. Centre Doug Heseltine took them close, Kelly was stopped a yard out and the ball recycled for lock James McHugh to dive over. Kelly converted. Just when they were starting to believe, a missed tackle allowed another converted try in the corner.
With 10 minutes to go Joe Billing picked up from a ruck and out of nowhere broke through a seemingly impenetrable defence to score. From then it was all Rishworthians and in the final minute No 8 Jacob Bower found a gap and darted over. It left Kelly with a pressure kick to salvage a losing bonus point, which he did in style to end the game.
The Development team won 22 - 0 at Huddersfield YMCA. Gerard Rollings got two tries, Lee Atkinson and Oliver Marshall one each and Kurt Sutcliffe a conversion.
|1. P Kershaw T||2. T Muscat-Baron||3. J Smart|
|6. M Tusiga||7. E Pollard|
|4. C Heseltine||5. J McHugh T|
|8. J Bower T|
|9. J Billing T|
|10. J Kelly C2|
|12. D Heseltine|
|13. S Bake|
|11. A Shoesmith||14. T Oldroyd|
|15. L Sutcliffe|
|H Robinson||L Phillips||L Illingworth|
Rishworthians v Roundhegians Slideshow.
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