Kelly ensures hoodoo is ended

Rishworthians v Barnsley'Josh Kelly
Rishworthians v Barnsley'Josh Kelly

Old Rishworthians finally got rid of their Barnsley hoodoo with a bonus point 35-5 home win.

They had failed to beat their South Yorkshire opponents in eight previous Yorkshire Two games, and right from the start made it clear they did not intend to let it become nine.

After a minute’s applause for Barnsley player Ashley Salkeld, who died recently, the game got underway with Rishworthians missing seven players from the starting line-up which beat Old Crossleyans last week.

The outcome though was rarely in doubt, apart from a short spell at the end of the first half with the home side clearly relieved to hear the whistle for the break.

Stand-off Josh Kelly put in a man of the match performance, finishing with 20 points after a great kicking display, both out of hand and for goal.

A perfectly weighted kick to the wing brought the first points, Anthony Shoesmith picking up well and rounding his man to touch down in the corner.

The forwards more than held their own against the heavier Barnsley pack, with scrum half Ed Cockroft marshalling them well and getting his backs moving with quick passes.

He set them on the attack again with a great steal from a tackle in midfield. Centre Taniela Bakoso almost broke through and lock Nick Faulkner too was stopped short.

Faulkner was not to be denied soon after, finishing off from close range after a fine move along the threequarters. Kelly converted.

Good Barnsley defence held off further waves of Rishworthian attacks and they suddenly came into their own, forcing the home side back and scoring a try in the corner after a slick move in the backs, aided by some sloppy tackling.

They continued to press for the rest of the half and Rishworthians were glad to reach the break and regroup.

Normal service resumed in the second half with the Copley men dominant and they soon went further ahead.

From a great lineout take by Jacob Bower, the forwards drove on before the ball went wide for Shoesmith to touch down in the corner for his second try. Kelly converted with a fine kick.

Straight from the restart Bakoso beat several men, but his kick ahead ran dead before he could reach it. Cockroft then found himself clear but was called back for a forward pass.

Rishworthians maintained the pressure and Kelly stretched the lead with two successful penalties.

Barnsley were pinned in their own 22 and only solid defence kept out the Copley men, with prop Anthony Nathaniel, Bakoso and Cockroft all going close, before Kelly seized his chance and dived over for the bonus point try, which he then converted.

Throughout the half, Kelly’s tactical kicking proved decisive. There were strong carries by Faulkner and great work at the breakdown by lock Callum Heseltine, returning after injury from the bench.

Kelly just missed with a long distance penalty, but after dissent from the visitors, was successful with three points from the last act of the match.

There was another fine win for the Development team, by 50-3 at Baildon.

Thomas Cockroft got two tries and there were others by Antony Sykes, Chris Fox, Will Bower, Oliver Marshall, Augustine Peron and Will McDonnell, who also kicked five conversions.