Review of 2005 - 2006 Season

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Old Rishworthian RUFC planned a 75th Anniversary that would include rugby, entertainment and fun. We achieved all of these and hope that the club has improved it's standing in Yorkshire Rugby. Fred Dawson was President for a record 20th Season and Gary Morris took over the 1st team captaincy from Darren Wade who had been in charge for 8 seasons.

A special 75th Anniversary brochure was published for the occasion by Roy Greenwood and Peter Morgan. The first event of the season was on September 4th. The minis and Under 15`s teams played games in the morning and the 1st XV played Heath in the afternoon, who were our first opponents in 1930. Unfortunately we could not repeat the result and lost by 19 - 3. James Clarke our influential No 8 broke his ankle and was unavailable until January.

With the 75th Anniversary in full swing a celebratory dinner was held at Bertie`s Banqueting Rooms on Thursday October 20th which was attended by 195 members and guests of the club, including 14 former presidents and 8 former captains. The main guests were Professor Ralph Kester, President of Yorkshire RFU, John Spencer, RFU Management Committee and former England and British Lion, Richard Armitage, local whit and raconteur and Fred Dawson the Club President. The evening was a great success and representatives from Rishworth Old Boys Society, Halifax, Heath, Halifax Vandals Old Crossleyans and Old Brodleians enjoyed mixing with friends and foes. Each guest was presented with a 75th anniversary tie.

Unfortunately the success off the field was not matched by success on the field. The 1st XV could not field a suitable back row owing to injuries and unavailability, and the results up until November were disappointing with two wins and seven defeats. Lee Greenwood resigned as coach on November 1st and Andy Callaghan took over and results improved dramatically, with the team only losing two games to the end of the season. Victory over Halifax Vandals by 44-7 in the John Payne Trophy was a great day witnessed by Professor Ralph Kester Yorkshire President and David Mcinnes, RFU Council member. The team finished third in Yorkshire 5NW and narrowly missed out on second place. Knaresborough and Wetherby are promoted and Halifax Vandals and Stanley Rodillians drop down from Yorkshire 4.

1st Team Record:- Played 26 Won 16 Lost 10 Points For 592 Against 323
2nd team Record:- Played 13 Won 6 Lost 7 Points For 278 Against 264

Toby Wood was the top points scorer with 97 and Alex Fearnley continued his remarkable try scoring with 91 points, although this season he also kicked 3 conversions. The second team did not have the pool of players required to maintain regular fixtures and hopefully this will be remedied next season, with a number of Under 17 players coming through the system. A successful Players Dinner was held on Maunday Thursday with guest speaker N Wheedon of Heath, Fred Dawson and Ray Crabtree entertaining 102 players, members and guests at the clubhouse.

The Club awards for the year were presented to:
Geoff Eastwood Trophy - Player of the Year: Joe Baker
Tommy Edwards Trophy - Players Player of the Year: Martin Brook
Terry Higgins Trophy - Best Newcomer: Andy Callaghan
Peter Firminger Tophy - Most Improved Player: Paul Hartley
Dave O`Boyle Trophy - Clubman of the year: Chris Mitchell
G Hoyle Achievement Award: D Dawson

Darren Dawson introduced the "Sniper Magazine", which proved a hit with players and members cataloguing witty tales of goings on in the club.

The Junior and Mini Section went from strength to strength. The Mini Section now has teams ranging from Under 6 to Under 9`s. The four age groups gained success during the season, but the highlights were the under 7's winning the Harrogate Festival and at Headingley, when 31 mini players provided a half time display in front of nearly 5,000 people during the halftime break of the Leeds Tykes v Saracens match. The club sent a party of 158 people including 90 adults and a further 37 juniors who gave their support to the mini players.

The Under 15`s team was the success story of the Club. They completed their second season of junior rugby and surpassed last season?s performance with some excellent running rugby and solid defence.

Their playing record was: Played 24 Won 21 Lost 3 Points For 832 Against 181.
Only seven teams managed to score more than 1 try against them and in nine games they recorded a clean sheet.

The top points scorer was Edward Cockroft with 209 points (17 tries, 56 goals and 4 penalties), second was the leading try scorer Christus Ferneyhough with 30 tries 150 points. Luke Flanagan 95 points and Chris Dyson 92 points were third and fourth just short of the 100-point barrier. Unlike last year there were no trophies. In the Yorkshire cup they had a walk over against Pocklington and lost 5-7 in the last minute at Doncaster in the second round. In the Harrogate Festival they lost the opening game against Moortown and beat the finalists Hull Ionians, however they failed to reach the final by one try on the try count ruling. In the friendly games they were defeated by Doncaster and Hull Ionians, the last defeat was in October. Since then they have won 17 games. Some of the notable wins were against Lancashire cup semi finalists Leigh, Yorkshire cup semi finalists Wharfedale, Yorkshire cup finalists Doncaster and Cheshire Champions Altrincham Kersal.

At district and county level nine players were selected to play for West Yorkshire and three (Gilbert Gregory, Edward Cockroft and Christus Ferneyhough) represented Yorkshire against Lancashire. Congratulations are due to the hard working Junior Committee including Glen Cockroft, Kevin Flanagan, John Hopkinson, Dave Butler, Julie Costello, and Steven Cockroft. The minis attract parents and players from other clubs and we hope that Old Rishworthian RUFC will benefit from this on the playing side.

Off the field the Club is applying for Seal of Approval, which will prove to potential funders that the Development Plan is being adhered to and that all areas of the club are being regulated and managed correctly. The improvement to the playing areas has already started and with the aid of a £5,000 grant from the RFU Foundation, work on improving the far pitch will continue in the summer, with the hope that it will be playable by the start of season 2007-8.

The 75th Anniversary season was completed with the Club hosting the Annual Yorkshire West 7 a side competition. The club entered two sides with the A team losing out in the Plate final. Apart from not gaining promotion to Yorkshire 4 the only other disappointment was the inability to arrange a fixture with local 75th celebrating club Old Brodleians. The Hipperholme men played their first game against Old Rishworthians in 1930, which we won 19-3. How times change.



Date Cmpetition Opponents Venue Result
August 27th  Trial game Halifax Vandals Away L 10 - 15
September 3rd  Vase Prelim Ossett Away L  7 - 22
September 10th Friendly Huddersfield YMCA 2nd Away W  10 - 5
September 11th 75th Anniversary Heath XV Home L  5 - 19
September 17th Friendly Heath 2nd XV Home L 14 - 24
September 24th League Garforth Home L 13 - 20
October 1st League  Burley Away W 15 - 10
October 8th Friendly No Game Away  
October 15th Friendly No Game Away  
October 22nd League Wetherby Home L 3 - 53
October 29th League Knaresborough Away L 0 - 19
November 5th Silver Trophy Pontefract Pythons Away L 12 - 28
November 12th League Harrogate Pythons Home W 25 - 10
November 19th Friendly Huddersfield YMCA 2nd Home Postponed
November 26th Friendly No Game    
December 3rd League Thirsk Away W 27 - 0
December 10th League Wibsey Home W 51 - 5
December 17th Friendly Otliensians XV Home W 74 - 3
December 24th Friendly No Game  
December 31st Friendly No Game  
January 7th League   Away L 5 - 8
January 14th Friendly Halifax Vandals Home W 44 - 7
January 21st League Knaresborough Home L 10 - 18
January 28th League Wetherby Away W 32 - 15
February 4th Friendly No Game  
February 11th Friendly Otley 3rd XV Home W 35 - 0
February 18th League Burley Home W 29 - 12
February 25th Friendly Ossett Home W 24 - 7
March 4th League Garforth Away W 41 - 8
March 11th Friendly  Pontefract Pythons Away W 17 - 10
March 18th Friendly No Game Home  
March 25th League  Wibsey Away W 20 - 5
April 1st Tour Thornton Cleveleys XV Away  
April 8th League  Thirsk Home W 38 - 0
April 8th Friendly  Thirsk Home W 31 - 0
April 15th Friendly No Game    
April 22nd Friendly No Game  
April 29th Friendly League 4 Play off  
April 30th 7's Yorkshire West 7's Home
May 7th Touring Side Carnforth Home W 79 - 14
May 14th 7's Ashton under Lyne 7's Away