With two games postponed, followed by the Xmas break, it was five weeks since our last match. Ripon 2 were the visitors to Copley on Saturday, and Rish were looking to overturn the 59-15 result from earlier in the season when we finished the game with only 13 fit players.
On this occasion both sides were evenly matched and produced an exciting game of rugby with the lead changing 6 times before Rish ran out 24-18 victors, though Ripon did their damnedest in the final 10 minutes to snatch a win.
Ripon had the first real chance of the game when a lovely chip over the defence was taken by the winger and looked sure to score, only for Oli Marshall to make a superb try saving tackle inches from the line. On 15 minutes Ripon did take the lead with a penalty, but from then on both sides were guilty of trying to force the pass and play became a bit messy.
Rishies eventually realised that control was the key, and from a well driven maul made good yardage before scrum half Will McDonnell went blindside and linked with Lee Atkinson to set up a 2 on 1 with Will Illingworth who finished off in the corner. But just before half time Ripon won a scrum against the head, and from 5 metres out crashed over to retake the lead at 8-5.
Early in the second half Ripon increased their lead when the number 8 battled over for the try which was converted and increased the lead to 15-5. Cue the Rish comeback! From a scrum in the Ripon 22 Sam Bake took the pass at pace and his offload sent Kurt Sutcliffe through the gap for the try which Joe Billing converted. Rish regained possession at the restart and play went through the backs to Bake who drew his man before passing to Marshall. He charged down the wing before giving it back to Bake, who then did a good impression of a stumbling baby giraffe, before giving an excellent offload back to Marshall who cantered over for a superb try.
The score was now 17-15 to Rish but within a few minutes Ripon slotted over a penalty. Marshall again set off down the wing but unfortunately touched the line just before scoring. From the ensuing lineout Rish managed to turn the ball over, and quick ball from the ruck found Sutcliffe at pace to score. Billing added the conversion and the score was now 24-18. Ripon stormed back and did manage to cross the line, only to be held up by Richard Turner and McDonnell. Ripon were camped on our line for the final few minutes but the Rish defence was resolute and a final Rish turnover saw the game come to a close.
A really good game of rugby for the neutral but agonising for both sets of supporters. The game was very competitive but both sides played with respect, and plenty of friendly banter. A good bonus point result for Rish before our trip next week to West Leeds.
|1. R Turner||2. L Hilton||3. C Fox|
|6.T Jowle||7. J Illingworth|
|4. S Rawnsley||5. A Bell|
|8. G Rollings|
|9. W McDonnell|
|10. B Copley|
|12. K Sutcliffe T2|
|13. S Bake|
|11. O Marshall T||14. W Illingworth T|
|Subs||M.Brook||J Billing C2||T. Muscat-Baron||L.Dawrant|
Rishworthians v Selby Slideshow.
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