Over the hills and far away
A tough test against one of Yorkshires finest
Such is the desire of coach Brookman to continue to develop his squad and test their abilities it was an early start for what has become an annual expedition to Yorkshire to pitch his team against the top white rose outfits. After experiencing brutal weather (but great hospitality) at previous visits to Huddersfield and Morley it was a relief to arrive in Calderdale to be greeted by a mild, still morning and the pleasant surroundings of a friendly Rishworthians club nestled in a picturesque valley.
This bucolic image was shattered at kick off as a thunderous, committed Rishworthian team hammered away at 'Loo for ten minutes. They are a tough as teak side, strong runners looking for an offload backed up by powerful forwards and they were rewarded with the first score. This woke the 'Loo boys up and it was game on! Big tackles from Alfie set the tone, driving Rishworth attacks back and gaining a foothold in the game. The reward came when Benedict completed his now mandatory footballing dribble to the corner for the levelling score.
Next up the backs put pressure on the Rishworth attack and the ball was spilled, Keir was on it like flash and broke free through the centre to score under the posts but it took a scrum under the posts fired out to Adam and moved on to Joe Stuart who went over to calm nerves ahead of half time.
Half Time 5-17.
Old Rishworthians are no doubt rightly proud of their hard earned reputation and were in no mood to allow Waterloo to park their tanks on their lawn and the second half became a real arm wrestle (literally and figuratively) as these two groups of young men went toe to toe like the great powers across the western front, hardly budging an in inch, expending great energy for little advantage and to their credit refusing to take a backward step. Credit also to Lloyd who remained calm and exhorted his cohorts to focus on the game, whilst his captain tried to dampen passions with a few chats with the coaches and referee in an effort to ensure clarity of decision making. The deadlock was eventually broken as 'Loo defended under their posts, turned over and shortly later put together a fine move through the hands which resulted in Joe scoring in the corner, superbly converted by Alexander off the upright.
Full Time 5-24.
I personally believe this was the toughest playing test the team has faced this season, no doubt this will be matched by the difficult cup games to come, but this was fantastic preparation despite the trek! Thanks to Old Rishworthians for hosting the match on the first team pitch, their absolute commitment and the hospitality shown. Apologies we let Lancashire down in the 'down in one' competition (don't worry mums it was only Coca-Cola) and we all look forward to the return match in the New Year.