Old Rishworthians RUFC 33 - 21 Selby RUFC
By Karen Ratcliffe
Selby waste a golden opportunity to secure their place in Yorkshire 1.
Old Rishworthians RUFC 33 – 21 Selby RUFC
Report by Ian Marlow (Posted by Stephen Ward)
Selby wasted a golden opportunity to secure their place in Yorkshire One for next season with a dispiriting defeat away against relegation rivals Old Rishworthians – and with other relegation candidates also winning elsewhere, the Swans are now right back in the relegation mix with only two more games to play.
Missing several of the more experienced players involved in last week’s heroics, Selby looked, and played, like a different and much less competent team. Their travails started from the kick off as they inexplicably dropped the ball, then conceded a penalty to go three points down within a minute; and then they repeated the same from the restart to allow their main relegation rivals to go 6-0 up in the easiest way imaginable. Finally, some coherent play saw Selby engineer an overlap down the wing for a great chance to score – but then after the referee had (rather prematurely it appeared) stopped proceedings in mid-play for a distant and not too badly injured Rishworthians player, Selby mouthed off about it to concede another penalty, from which Rishworthians gained good field position to cross for a try to go 13-0 up with twenty minutes played.
The rest of a the half was a similar struggle for the Swans as errors and penalties accrued regularly and Rishworthians dominated possession with their simple but effective game plan of not playing like Selby. With Selby’s scrummage, at least, remaining competitive they had a good chance near half time but were held up as the forward drove over; but right on half-time they at last managed to string together a few phases of play for Josh Cruise to dummy his way over for 13-7. And then, straight from the restart they stunned Rishworthians, and the watching spectators, with some fantastic handling for a length-of-the-field try, finished off by Danny Wilkinson, to almost unbelievably take the half time lead at 14-13.
Any thoughts of a second half continuation of competence from Selby were quickly disabused though as they immediately perpetrated another stupid penalty from the kick off, allowing Rishworthians to kick deep into Selby’s half, where weak tackling allowed them to stroll under the posts to immediately regain the lead. And so the half played out, with Rishworthians again dominating possession with simple, competent, and effective play and using the breeze to kick Selby back into their half to await the almost inevitable Selby errors as they pushed, and dropped, more and more desperate passes. Another two tries and a drop goal steadily increased the Rishworthians lead before Selby earned a five metre line out from which the pack drove Andrew Tunningley over for his first try of the season to reduce Selby’s arrears to 21 - 33.
Selby then had a great chance to somehow redeem their day by scoring a fourth try to earn what would have been two massively important losing bonus points, as with seconds remaining the pack turned over a Rishworthians scrum to set up a series of charges for the line. However, to epitomise Selby’s day, the ball was knocked on as they crossed the line and the game finished with them pointless - and losing considerable ground to their relegation rivals.
Selby now face Beverley at home on Saturday and they must bounce back from this reversal or the season may end up, for the fifth year running, in yet another last day shoot out to save their skins.