Rishworthians rack up 7 tries and close the gap to 1 point as leaders lose
Rishworthians put in a brilliant first half performance which saw the game sewn up by half-time and gave them their 10th win in a row with a seven-try haul. But they did not have things their own way in the second period as Grovians starved them of possession and restricted them to two tries while adding three of their own.
Rishworthians had to make late changes due to Josh Kelly's illness, but Joe Billing stepped in at fly half and did an excellent job, constantly getting his backs into play and adding six conversions.
The opening exchanges saw the home men having to defend well, before left wing Anthony Shoesmith took them deep into the Grovians half with the first of a number of strong runs. It led to a scrum and the ball came out and along the line for teenage right wing Tom Oldroyd to open the scoring. Billing added the conversion. They were soon on the attack again and went close with a dazzling break involving centre Doug Heseltine, fullback Luke Sutcliffe and scrum half Liam Phillips.
They soon added a second try, the ball going along the line from a lineout for Shoesmith to dart in at the corner. Billing's conversion attempt drifted wide. More chances followed, which might have brought at least four more tries, but each broke down at the end or were stopped with last ditch tackles.
It was all Rishworthians and they got in again after a great pick-up in midfield by flanker James McHugh, who put No8 Jacob Bower away, before Sutcliffe took the final pass to score. Billing converted. Grovians seem unable to handle the pace and skill of the home backs and they were soon on hand to add the bonus point try, centre Sam Bake making the decisive break to score after good work by prop Phil Kershaw had provided possession for the backs. Billing converted.
Rishworthians were almost in twice more, before the ball went wide again for Shoesmith to add his second try. Billing converted to end the half.
A resurgent Grovians came out strongly in the second period and dominated possession, using their heavy pack to great effect to score through a rolling maul. For a long period they denied the home men any possession, constantly battering the home line before finally bursting through for a converted try.
It was the spur Rishworthians needed and they finally got going, some good counter-rucking providing the opportunity for the ball to come wide again, Bake spotting a gap to glide through for his second try. Billing followed up his conversion with a fine break after the restart to get the home side going again.
Locks Fraser Swarbrooke and Callum Heseltine took the ball on before another break by Bake set up the seventh try. Doug Heseltine running an excellent line, as he had done all through the game, to score by the posts. Billing added the conversion. Grovians never gave up, however, and in the final minutes forced their way over for a third converted try.
Rishworthians got an added boost when leaders Roundhegians lost, leaving them only one point behind in second place, with a game in hand and 13 points ahead of third placed Ripon, who come to Copley next week.
On the second pitch, the Development team gained an 8 - 6 victory over West Leeds thanks to a try from Max Spolverato and a penalty by Kurt Sutcliffe.
The Development team completed a fine day for Rishworthians winning 8 - 6.
|1. P Kershaw||2. T Muscat-Baron||3. J Smart|
|6. J McHugh||7. E Pollard|
|4. C Heseltine||5. F Swarbrooke|
|8. J Bower|
|9. L Phillips|
|10. J Billing C6|
|12. D Heseltine T|
|13. S Bake T2|
|11. A Shoesmith T2||14. T Oldroyd T|
|15. L Sutcliffe T|
|Manu Tusiga||B Westbury||C Fox|
Rishworthians v Grovians Slideshow.
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