Old Rishworthians 15-29 West Leeds
Rishworth returned to play their first 1st XV game at their Copley, Halifax home since 7th November having played their home fixtures at Old Crossleyans and Crossley Heath School, writes Glenn Broadbent.
The members and volunteers have done a fantastic job of getting the clubhouse and ground back in action so quickly after the devastation of the Christmas floods. Everyone at West Leeds wishes them well for the rest of the season.
All that said, when it was time to take to the field it was West Leeds who became the party poopers.
After just two minutes Mark Calderwood touched down over the line but with the referee and his touch judge poorly positioned they refused to award the try. It wasn’t long before West Leeds got on the scoreboard with a penalty for offside being converted Dale Breakwell on 7 minutes 0-3.
Calderwood did get his try in the 11th minute following what in normal conditions would have been a blistering run from Neave. Breakwell hit the far post with his conversion attempt from a difficult angle. 0-10
With Rishworth defending deeply the visitors took advantage and used their intelligent kicking game to control the half. On the 21st minute it was the turn of Jamie Cockin to touch down following powerful work from the in form George Carpenter, Breakwell converted 0-17.
Wests used the cross field kick in the 28th minute to send Calderwood on a smart run, he offloaded to Sam Neave who added another try Breakwell added a well taken conversion. 0-24.
The last score of the half came from Calderwood again on the 34th minute with Breakwell making a great attempt on goal but not quite taking the 2 points. 0-29.
It took until the 37th minute for Rishworth to make any meaningful attempt to add points but the penalty awarded for a perceived technical offence was badly taken. HT 0-29.
Old Rishworthians came out with a different game plan in the second half their forward putting pressure on West Leeds and forcing penalties. Their efforts soon paid off with a penalty for offside on 42 minutes being converted 3-29.
The pouring rain was now making open play difficult and forcing errors on both sides, the first victim was Rishworth number 6 Gerrard Rollings who was sent to the Bin for persistent off-side.
Rishworthians continued to put the pressure on with phase after phase of unrewarded play due to the stoical defence of the visitors. The great defending paid off on the 51st minute when West Leeds regained possession and gave themselves breathing space. Interchanges followed for Wests, Bird replacing Penny and a few minutes later Assante on for the hard working Wilson.
In the 58th minute a piece of simulation from Rishworth which Jurgen Klinsman would have been proud of saw Josh Richardson sent to the Bin, there is no place for this type of stuff in Rugby Union.
Rishworth were by now making this their half and following a poor clearance from Wests it was the home sides chance to show some great positional kicking leading to a well worked try on 61 minutes, the conversion was missed 10-29.
In the 70th minute Captain Neave added to the Sin Bin list, if only West Leeds could keep 15 men on the pitch for 80 minutes.
The final score of the game came on the 71st minute from Rishworthians again they failed to convert
Rishworth continued to push for more but West Leeds held out and were rejoined in dressage pony style by Captain Neave for added time.
West Leeds look forward to next week’s National Senior Vase fixture against Whitley Bay at Bluehill Lane, a win will take them within two wins of the Twickenham Final.
West Leeds 2/3rd XV 64 Heath 3rd XV 10
A mixed 2nd and 3rd team took on Heath and came away with another convincing win (64-10) following last week’s thrashing of Otliensians.