Selby RUFC 17 - 22 Old Rishworthians
By Stephen Ward
Losing bonus point the only consolation for Selby.
Selby RUFC 17 – 22 Old Rishworthians RUFC
Report by Ian Marlow (Posted by Stephen Ward)
Selby’s league campaign took another hit on Saturday as they went down to bottom placed Old Rishworthians in a tight but dour game at Sandhill Lane, and while alarm bells are not yet ringing for the Swans there is some consternation building with a tricky period of upcoming games now to be negotiated.
Playing against the breeze Selby started well as they kept possession through a number of phases but by hook and by crook the Rishworthians defence held firm until the lady referee had had enough and a penalty from Scott Hunt took the early match lead in what many thought would be a relatively comfortable win. However, this only gave an opportunity for Selby’s kick return nemesis to put in an early appearance as they failed to clear their lines handing Rishworthians easy field position, and when the old bugbear of missing touch also surfaced Rishworthians must have thought Christmas had come early with the amount of gifts Selby were giving them. The damage and concern were mitigated somewhat by a dominant Selby scrum but still the presents kept coming for Rishworthians as Selby’s lack of discipline began to tell against them, and an opposition penalty eventually tied the score at 3-3.
The referee then decided she was going to play Santa for Rishworthians with a soft yellow card to Selby’s Stephen Clark for a pretty innocuous looking high tackle; which Rishworthians took full advantage of as they drove their way over from a 5 metre line out for a 3-10 lead. And then she turned positively Grinch-like for the Swans as she somehow missed a massive Rishworthians knock on (youtube video available) as they broke away straight from the restart; to eventually hack on and touch down, much to Selby incredulity, for another seven pointer and 3-17 half time lead that would ultimately prove the difference come the final whistle.
With the breeze in the second half Selby gained good field position early on, and when prop Duncan Hardy carried a number of Rishworthians defenders over the line with him to cut the deficit to 10-17, Selby’s hopes of a win were re-buoyant. Unfortunately their efforts for the rest of the half were then constantly blighted by an inability to hold onto the ball for more than a few phases - with sloppy handling and excellent Rishworthians turnover play at the breakdowns being the main culprits. Inevitably, after yet another Selby lost possession from a loose pass on their own 22, Rishworthians moved the ball smartly out to the wing for an excellent try and two score 10-22 lead with 15 minutes to go.
And so the rest of the half played out with Selby errors, combined with comfortable and capable Rishworthians defending, preventing the Swans getting any foothold in the Rishworthians half, never mind over the whitewash. However, right at the final curtain, and with Swans followers thinking that in hindsight even a trip to Ikea might have provided a more entertaining Saturday afternoon, scrum half Danny Wilkinson broke from half way before kicking ahead for speedster Ashton Dallimore (in his last match before leaving for Australia – he will be sorely missed) to win the race to touch down to salvage a losing bonus point for a just a little bit of Selby pre-Christmas cheer.
Selby now go into the Christmas period with a number of tricky fixtures upcoming, starting away at Beverley on Saturday.