Rishworthians hang on for victory as Ripon dominate 2nd half
Rishworthians stretched their Yorkshire Two unbeaten run to 11 games by beating the last team to defeat them. That defeat was back at the end of September at Ripon when they lost by a single point. Since then the home men have risen to second in the table, while the visitors have put in a number of strong performances to rise to third.
Again it was a close contest. Rishworthians bossed the first half, but Ripon came back strongly in the second. Defences were solid throughout the game, although the home men's proved extra special in the second half.
The opening exchanges were even, but gradually Rishworthians began to dominate. Flanker Simanu Tusiga and lock Callum Heseltine rumbled over, but an unsighted referee decided to award a five-metre scrum. The home pack produced a great push forcing their opponents back for No 8 Jacob Bower to touch down.
It was not long after that scrum half Liam Phillips made a break from a quickly taken lineout to put Bower away and he broke through a number of tackles in a 40-yard run to the line to bag his second try. Fly half Joe Billing converted.
Rishworthians continued to dominate, with the back row of Bower, Tusiga and Ethan Pollard prominent in both attack and defence. They tried to get the ball wide as much as possible, but solid defence from Ripon prevented a breakthrough despite good work by wings Tom Oldroyd and Anthony Shoesmith. Just before the break Rishworthians almost got in with a strong rolling maul after a great pick-up in midfield by lock James McHugh.
It was all change in the second half though as Ripon dominated possession. Rishworthians were under constant pressure on their own line for almost 15 minutes, but their defence held. Finally Shoesmith broke away, but when the ball went out, it was intercepted., leaving fullback Luke Sutcliffe as the only barrier to a certain try. He manged to bring off a tackle and then cleared to prevent a score.
Shoesmith almost got in by gathering a fine crosskick and pressure from the home men brought a penalty to make it 15 - 0. It was just the cushion Rishworthians needed as the visitors fought back in the last 15 minutes, firstly scoring an unconverted try from a catch and drive and then exerting massive forward pressure before rumbling over for a second unconverted try. The home team though managed to retain enough possession in the final minutes to prevent any further score.
The Development team beat their Ripon counterparts 50 - 0 on the second pitch with eight tries. There were two tries each for Cam Emery and Kurt Sutcliffe and others by Gerard Rollings, Stevie Richardson, Lee Atkinson and Corey White. Kian Sutcliffe kicked five conversions.
|1. P Kershaw||2. T Muscat-Baron||3. L Illingworth|
|6. Manu Tusiga||7. E Pollard|
|4. C Heseltine||5. J McHugh|
|8. J Bower T2|
|9. L Phillips|
|10. J Billing C P|
|12. S Bake|
|13. D Heseltine|
|11. A Shoesmith||14. T Oldroyd|
|15. L Sutcliffe|
|J Smart||F Swarbrooke||T Andrews|
Rishworthians v Ripon Slideshow.
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