Rishies impress in win at Ripon

Ripon v Old Rishworthians. Rishies score
Ripon v Old Rishworthians. Rishies score

Old Rishworthians moved up to fifth in Yorkshire Two with a display of quality rugby in a 31-7 victory at Ripon, picking up a four-try bonus point.

The team has a settled look and the forwards played their role in the victory. The lineouts operated smoothly with Luke Illingworth finding his jumpers Fraser Swarbrooke and Chris Dyson, with ease.

The scrum, with James Clarke in good form and Andrew Shickell the man of the match, caused the home side problems. In the loose Dyson, Nick Faulkner and Swarbrooke provided the tackles when necessary.

The front row of Bruce Karalo, Illingworth and Ryan Mudd and replacement prop Martin Brook had the upper hand in the scrums and got better as the game continued.

Gary Morris had an excellent game at scrum half, marshalling the players, and player coach Damian Ball caused the home defence problems.

Centres Matthew Hunt-Brown and Kurt Sutcliffe gained yards and only the final pass prevented scores. Anthony Shoesmith on the left wing continued his fine form and his off-loading was off the highest order. Joe Billing on the right wing scored 21 points and he has become a deadly finisher. Full back Taniela Bakoso was unlucky not to score on several occasions and is providing additional pace in the back line.

The visitors kicked off up the slight slope on a heavy pitch. They conceded three penalties and Bob Whitaker, the Ripon outside half, missed a kick at goal after five minutes.

Shickell set off on the first of his many barnstorming runs and a maul in front of the home posts produced a penalty kicked by Billing.

After 25 minutes a break by Ball led to Shoesmith off-loading to Billing, who dived over in the corner for a try which he could not convert.

After good handling on the left by Hunt-Brown, the ball was moved to the right and Faulkner scored with a two man overlap. That made it 0-13 after 30 minutes.

Shickell was dangerous whenever he had the ball but Ripon were not to be outdone and from a scum moved the ball to the left and a good pass enabled winger Ben Buckley to score a try under the posts converted by Whitaker.

Dyson made a lot of ground and reached the Ripon 22 but was unlucky to be penalised. From a line out won by Swarbrooke, Ripon offended and Billing’s penalty made it 16-7 at halftime.

Rishworthians’ defence was operating smoothly and improved when Frank Watene came on.

The second half produced more running rugby and Ball, Sutcliffe and Shoesmith created gaps for Billing to score his second try which he converted.

Ripon were having difficulty containing the swift handling and when Ball was shoulder charged in the home 22 a try was about to be scored but the referee gave a penalty to Old Rishworthians and red carded the home centre.

Billing kicked the penalty 26-7.

Danny Hoyle came on and made his presence felt, tackling and handling well.

The forwards started to gain momentum and made a lot of ground from a rolling maul. A further scrum and a pick and drive enabled Fraser Swarbrooke to claim the try for the bonus point.

In the final moments a Ripon second rower was red carded for a punch and Dyson yellow carded.

Next Saturday Rishworthians entertain Roundhegians (2:15).