Old Rishworthians were unable to confirm their previous week’s superiority over Pontefract when they bowed out of the Yorkshire Shield by 29-19 away yesterday.
The Copley men had won 41-7 at home in Yorkshire Two but failed to get their game together again and virtually gifted their hosts two tries in the first half.
A war of attrition followed in the second period with the visitors managing to score at the death.
Captain Fraser Swarbrooke, who had a massive game, pledged: “We’ll raise it next week at Moortown.”
It’s no secret that the Copley club is focusing on that clash with the leaders and player-coach Chris Stone, who was rested with a foot injury, said: “It was a wake-up call for us and we’ve got to heed it.”
Rishworthians were on the back foot from the start and found themselves pinned in their own 22. Eventually, with the cover tied in, the ball went wide for a converted try on the left wing.
They struggled to get out of their own half and just as they began to do so, they conceded again.
They failed to move the ball quickly from a ruck. Counter-rucking robbed them of possession and the ball went wide again. A brilliant tackle from centre Matthew Hunt-Brown, re-appearing after a broken jaw, looked to have saved the day, but the ball was gathered for an unconverted try in the corner.
At last the visitors got going and a good break by scrum half Ed Cockroft and right wing Will McDonnell took play into the home 22.
The forwards took over and from a scrum No 8 James Clarke forced his way over, only to be held up. But from the resulting scrum there was no stopping him.
Rishworthians had the momentum and pressed hard. Then came the turning point in the game.
They were dominant and won a penalty. A goal kick was turned down and they came forward again, only for a pass to be intercepted and the home side ran in an unconverted try for a 17-5 scoreline.
Josh Kelly then kicked two penalties to one from Pontefract to make the half-times core 20–11.
The second half started in attritional fashion and continued that way. The home side kicked an early penalty. Kelly responded before two more went to Pontefract.
The visitors battled hard. There was a yellow card for each side and neither could break through.
Rishworthians could not get their game working and the 50-50 situations all seemed to go against them.
They fought through to end though with a try. Left wing Anthony Shoesmith put in a strong run before the ball went back across the field and Hunt-Brown almost got over.
From the ensuing scrum the visitors scored a pushover with Cockroft diving through to touch down.
At Copley the Development team beat Old Crossleyans seconds 49-0. There were two tries each for Kurt Sutcliffe and Liam Phillips and others by James Radcliffe, Josh Illingworth and James McHugh. Rhys Town kicked seven conversions.