Saturdays game at Heath was the rearranged fixture that was postponed from December. Rishies had assembled a really strong squad, and after the good win against Yarnbury last week, confidence was high, but fixtures against local rivals Heath are always difficult.
Rishies came out from the gates at a gallop and had Heath pinned down in their own half and after 8 minutes excellent build up put Will McDonnell over, but Heath managed to hold him up. The visitors pressure finally paid off when they ran a penalty from in front of the posts, and great hands saw James McHugh dive over for the try. Joe Billing stepped up and added the extras.
It wasn't until we were 20 minutes in to the game that Heath had their first proper break. Their winger found a gap down the wing and was heading for the try until a superb timely double tackle from Will Illingworth and Oli Marshall saved the day. Heath were finding it difficult to get out of their half and every clearance kick was returned with interest. Firstly McDonnell chased down a hacking kick only to knock on when he dived on the ball over the line. Then prop forward Ryan Mudd crashed over but he was also held up.
Rish were all over Heath and before half time managed a deserved second score. From another clearance hoof Will Illingworth returned with good yardage, and from a couple of strong rucks Liam Phillips pounced on a loose ball for the try.
Half time 12-0, but with Rish dominating the half and three tries disallowed, it could have, and should have, been more.
The second period began with more attacking play from Heath and after 10 minutes the pressure paid dividends when indifferent tackling allowed the winger to charge in for the try which was duly converted. Joe Billing slotted over a penalty to put Rish 15-7 ahead but Heath came back with an identical try to close the gap to 15-12.
Rish picked up the intensity from the first half and play was again mostly in the Heath half of the pitch. A good period of pressure in the Heath 22 produced a couple of penalties, and from a scrum, number 8 Ethan Pollard went blind and passed to scrum half Lee Atkinson who managed to scramble over for the try. Joe Billing added the conversion.
With the score now at 22-12 you always thought that Heath would pull something back, but Rishies defence remained steadfast. From a penalty in our half, an excellent kick to touch gave Rish a good platform to attack, and from the lineout play went cross field through the backs to Oli Marshall who brushed off numerous tackles to score. Joe Billing added the conversion to make the score 29-12.
Rish had finally beaten their nemesis, and after a few seasons, had regained the Stuart Harrison memorial trophy. A couple of good wins on the bounce gives us confidence going in to our home game against Otley, and a chance to reverse another defeat from earlier in the season.
Tries: James McHugh, Liam Phillips, Lee Atkinson, Oli Marshall
Cons: Joe Billing 2
Pen Joe Billing
|1. R Turner||2. K Hattam||3. R Mudd|
|6. L.Illingworth||7. T Jowle|
|4. J McHugh T||5. A Bell|
|8. J Illingworth|
|9. L. Atkinson T|
|10. J Billing P C3|
|11. W Illingworth||14. L Phillips T|
|15. O Marshall T|
|Subs J Whiteley||E.Pollard||W.Aldridge||W Bowers||T.Muscat-Baron|
Rishworthians v Heath Slideshow.
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