Ripon RUFC crashed to a 34-10 defeat at the hands of Old Rishworthians last week, missing an opportunity to all but secure safety in the Yorkshire Division Two.
The match began in comical fashion, when a ricochet saw Ripon scrum half Joe Rowntree’s clearing kick fly squarely into the face of the referee.
Rishworthians were the stronger team from the start, and their pressure was rewarded when one of their centres broke through the Ripon defence to open the scoring. A successful conversion left Ripon down by seven points after seven minutes.
Ripon’s eagerness to win loose balls resulted in a number of penalties going against them, which Rishworthians capitalised on by rattling in four more well worked tries.
Injuries to Andy Williamson and Ripon captain Adam Newcombe led to opportunities for Elliot Cates and Craig Wolloms but Ripon were unable to make an impact in a first half that saw them trail 34-0 at half time.
Ripon came out energised after the break, and began to push Rishworthians back inside their own 22 metre line.
Patient build up play allowed full back Joe Duffield to neatly step through a gap and offload for Tom Leeming to convert Ripon’s first try of the match.
After a period of sustained Ripon pressure, Euan Findley was able to power through a small gap to notch another try,
But it was too little too late for Ripon, and the match ended 34-10 in favour of Rishworthians, whose dominant first half display saw them run out as deserved winners.
The result leaves Ripon and Sheffield Medicals locked in a two-way relegation dogfight, with Ripon five points ahead of the South Yorkshire outfit with 2 games left to play.
Home clashes against the two teams directly above them, Goole and Roundhegians, mean that the emphasis is on Ripon, with their fate in the division resting firmly on their own shoulders.