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APR

Sheffield Oaks 12 - 31 Old Rishworthians Another record falls as Rishworthians topple Oaks & reach 1027 pts for season
Match Preview Saturday 12th April Yorkshire League 5
Rishworthians return to league action keen to maintain their 100 per cent return and break another record.
In the 2000-01 season they clocked up 1,004 points and their total tally for this season stands at 996. Of that 781 have come from 20 out of 20 league wins. In addition to winning and breaking the points record, Rishworthians will be keen to maintain their reputation as having the meanest defence in the country. Official Rugby Football Union figures show that of the 19 teams in England with 100 per cent league results, Rishworthians have the best defence record, only conceding 56 points, averaging 2.8 a game, almost two points better than their nearest rivals.
While missing unavailable No 8 James Clarke, they include promising teenage back rower Hedley Stirk at flanker in a squad containing six teenagers. But already-promoted Rishworthians will be determined to maintain their winning form, but will have to be at their best to overcome mid-table opponents who have home advantage.


Match Report
Old Rishworthians extended their excellent 100% winning record in Yorkshire 5C by beating a dogged Sheffield Oaks side at the Sheffield Tigers ground. The match was played at the Dore Moor ground, owing to the home pitch not being marked out. The Copley men fielded a squad consisting of seven players under the age of 20 and included hooker Bob Collins and Hedley Stirk for their first starts of the season.

The Old Rishworthians conceded a penalty at the start of the game, but good attacking play by Nick Faulkner, Chris Flanagan and Lee Atkinson almost lead to three tries in the first 15 minutes, but unusually poor handling enabled Oaks to clear their lines. The heavy pitch was suiting the Oaks limited style of play and following several scrums near the Old Rishworthians line, Oaks forwards crashed over for a try in the 10th minute which was unconverted. The Copley men were having problems in securing any ball for their three quarters and whilst Jamie Bloem tried to run the ball, the visitors lineout was not producing the quality of possession needed. Darren Dawson charged over from a tap penalty, only to be called back by the referee.

Faulkner eventually provided the visitors with their first try converted by Bloem after coming across field from the left wing to outpace the defenders. Bloem was yellow carded by the referee and the visitors now had a fight on their hands. Oaks kept the ball in the forwards and eventually after sustained pressure their centre scored a try under the posts which was converted. Just before halftime Chris Flanagan accelerated through a gap and touched down for the equalising try which was unconverted by Joe Billing.This try broke the clubs scoring record of 1,004 points set in season 2000-01

Half Time Sheffield Oaks 12 - 12 Rishworthians

A suitable team talk by Bloem and John Clough, forwards coach, had the desired effect. The way to beat a side like Sheffield Oaks is to speed up the game, and that is exactly what happened. Gerard Rollings replaced Martin Brook and Gary Morris at scrum half started to receive the quick ball which the three quarters enjoy. A sniping break and a chip kick by Morris enabled Flanagan to catch the ball and roll over the try line for an unconverted try. The Oaks forwards started to tire and Jack Butcher who had replaced Atkinson received the ball on the half way line, beat the line of defence and scored under the posts for a try converted by Bloem. This was more like it and the Old Rishworthians finished off their opponents with an excellent try by Rollings which was converted by Bloem.

Next Saturday Old Rishworthians go into their final league match at Wetherby, with the chance of a 100% league record. They currently have the best defensive record in England, and that could be maintained with more concentration




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