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Cleckheaton 17 - 14 Old Rishworthians Under par Rishworthians unbeaten run ends at Cleckheaton
Cleckheaton 17 - 14 Old Rishworthians
Under par Rishworthians unbeaten run ends at Cleckheaton

Match report Sunday 26th October

Rishworthians unbeaten run came to an end as they narrowly lost out 17- 14 away to Cleckheaton in a tightly fought game. Despite the difficult, windy conditions, Cleckheaton were willing to play adventurous, running rugby from the outset. Initial attacks were effectively dealt with by strong Rishworth defence, with Ryan Percival on the right wing making some strong early tackles. As Rishworthians started to win some good ball, they began to make inroads into the Cleckheaton defence, with Paul Henry Jackson, Tom McGuire and Matthew Hunt-Brown all gaining ground in the early stages. The Rishworthian pack, however, lacked its usual commitment and cohesion, and individual runs were not properly backed up.

Rishworthians were put under pressure by a touch kick leading to a lineout on the left within 5 metres of the goal line. From the lineout, Cleckheaton won clean ball and moved the ball along the back line for a straightforward try on the right wing. Following the restart the game looked well balanced with both sides prepared to be creative and play attacking rugby. The conditions led to breakdowns in midfield. Rishworthians were quick to capitalise on these, leading to Matthew Hunt-Brown and Josh Lowther both coming close to scoring in one attack.

Cleckheaton scored the second try of the half following a turnover in the maul around the halfway line, and a breakaway run, which would have been stopped by stronger Rishworthians tackling. The try under the posts was converted. Again Rishworthians responded well and continued to exert pressure and gain ground, with Reuben Pollard leading the charge in the forwards. Under continuing forward pressure in the closing stages of the half, Cleckheaton conceded a penalty close to their own line. From the penalty move, Paul Henry Jackson burst through the defence and crossed the line with ball in hand, but was adjudged to have knocked on in the touchdown leaving Rishworthians unfortunate to trail 12-0 at half time.

Half time Cleckheaton 12 - 0 Rishworthians

Cleckheaton started the second half brightly. Rishworthians were saved from going further behind by an outstanding try saving tackle from Ryan Percival. Cleckheaton had broken clear and looked certain to score on their right, but reckoned without Percival who had tracked from the opposite wing and showed blistering speed to chase and bring down the Cleckheaton player short of the line. This was typical of his determination throughout the game, and he was rightfully named man of the match.

Rishworthians continued to battle hard, and Luke Dawarnt led a superb 40metre forward drive, with the ball finally taken over for a try by Paul Henry Jackson. Matthew Cook converted the try from wide on the left against a strong wind. Cleckheaton came back strongly again. Despite some desperate defending, Rishworthians were unable to deal with a kick through and Cleckheaton went over for a third try. It was not converted, despite an unusual decision to give the kicker a second attempt, for reasons which were entirely unclear to everyone but the referee.

Even at 17-7 down in the closing stages, Rishworthians did not allow their heads to fall, and applied more pressure to the Cleckheaton line. Cleckheaton were forced to concede three successive penalties in the maul under their posts. From the third of these, the ball was moved swiftly out to fly halfMatthew Hunt-Brown who went through for a neatly taken and well deserved try. Cook added the two points, but sadly it was too late for Rishworthians, as full time was called.

Whilst Rishworthians battled well and showed flashes of their full potential, they were strangely under par today, and will have to raise their game for the forthcoming Yorkshire Cup tie against Old Brodleians in a fortnight's time.

Full time Cleckheaton 17 - 14 Rishworthians

Man of the match Ryan Percival

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