Rishies went to 3rd place Keighley on Saturday hoping to extend their winning run to 6 games, but after a close physical encounter where the lead switched back and forth, Keighley managed to scrape home with the win.
At the start of the game both teams tested each other's defensive credentials with all play taking part between the 22s. However, Rishies defence was breached from a well placed kick from the Keighley fly half, and the bounce on the artificial pitch was perfect for their very tall winger to snatch the ball in the air and sprint clear to score.
Rish almost scored straight back when Will McDonnell made a break but was tackled short of the line and from the ruck the ensuing pass was deemed forward. After the Keighley try Rish had the lions share of possession and the majority of the play was inside the home half. Constant pressure close to the try line was rewarded when prop Phil Kershaw dived over a pile of bodies to score. Kurt Sutcliffe added the conversion and the score was 7-5 to Rish.
It was then the turn of Keighley to come storming back, and from a quick tap the fly half dived over, and then added the conversion. With a few minutes of the half remaining McDonnell put up a 50m kick which was chased down causing Keighley to knock on. From the scrum, 5m out, Kurt Sutcliffe managed to go over in a heap, only to be held up!.
Rish got the second half to a cracking start when they won a scrum against the head. Scrum half McDonnell picked up, saw the gap and dived over. Sutcliffe added the extras and Rish were back in the lead. We went further ahead after a lineout catch and drive took play to the Keighley line, and from the ruck McDonnell responded to a blindside call from Sutcliffe who touched down in the corner. The conversion went wide and the score had increased to 19-12.
As expected, Keighley didn't give up, and after another try and conversion from the fly half, the scores were even. Keighley tried a penalty kick from the 10 metre but missed, and at this point the draw would have been a fair result. With 5 minutes to go Keighley were awarded another penalty in our 22 which was slotted through the uprights.
Rish were still in determined mood and took play deep into Keighley territory. Tom Jowle made a storming run to within 5 metres of the line, and from the ruck Rish would have scored the winner but for the referee penalising Rish for crossing!
These are the type of games that Rish have enjoyed playing all season. Both sides were physical and competitive but the match was good natured throughout, and either team could have won. Yet another great display by Rish against another of the top teams in the league.
Tries: Phil Kershaw, Will McDonnell, Kurt Sutcliffe
Cons: Kurt Sutcliffe 2
|1. L Illingworth||2.K Hattam||3. P Kershaw T|
|6.T Jowle||7. J Illingworth|
|4. J McHugh||5. A Bell|
|8. E Pollard/td>|
|9. W McDonnell T|
|10. K Sutcliffe T C2|
|12. J Bower|
|13. L Phillips|
|11. O Marshall||14. O Scrimshaw|
|15. L Atkinson|
|Subs||W Aldridge||C Fox R Mudd||T Muscat-Baron||L Dawrant|
Rishworthians v Keighley Slideshow.
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