Novos 33, Old Rishworthians 22 - National Cup Win For Vos.
By Magnus Leask
An away day experience to remember in Halifax saw Novos beat Old Rish 33-22 to take qualification down to the final pool match.
Novos travelled to pastures new on Saturday when the travelled to Old Rishworthians based just outside Halifax. The squad were in good spirits after the victory last week against Horden and looking forward to the challenge of stepping into the unknown territory of the Yorkshire 1 league. Unavailability of the skipper and injury to the vice left Sam Busby stepping into the breach to lead the troops.
On a good surface and a wind free afternoon, ideally suited to Novos fast flowing rugby, it was was the forwards who dominated the opening exchanges, particularly in the scrum where those fine gents Josh Stacey, Tom Dias and Luke Menzfeld gave their opposite numbers a torrid time. Much to Novos surprise then when Old Rish made a break from a scrum, defeated the cover defence to open the scoring. With an added conversion the home side went into a 7-0 lead.
Novos response was immediate - Jonny Ward plucked the kick off out the air and sidestepped his way into the 22. A drive by Sean Ramsey and a quick recycle saw Richie Harrison chip the ball across the defence for Lewis Chater to collect and score in the corner leaving the score at 7-5. Next came a moment that previous Novos packs could only ever dream of. Crouch, bind, set. And heave the opposition back over their own line, conceding a penalty try in the process. Novos up 12-7.
That led to a period of domination by Old Rish, and after hammering away at the Novos line, they trundled over for a score of their own. Conversion added made the score 14-12.
On 30 minutes, with the game evenly balanced came a pivotal moment for our hosts. Lewis Chater was the recipient of what looked like (from the touchline) a hard chest high tackle. However the man in the middle clearly had a better view than us, as he deemed it an illegal tackle and issued a red card to the offending player. The resulting penalty was thumped to the corner and from the line out, Ben Merrett tagged on behind the juggernaut to dot down. Novos back in front 19-14. A penalty on the stroke of half time reduced the deficit to Old Rish 17 - Novos 19.
Half time brought the views that we weren't quite at our best, and an upping of the tempo and accuracy would see us home - so it proved. The first 10 minutes brought two tries. A blindside break from the ruck by Adam McDonald saw him execute a prefect draw and pass to release Sam Busby to score his 100th Novos try, which was closely followed by a second catch and drive lineout score, this time dotted down by Dan Shuttleworth, both tries converted by Billy Porter. With the score now at 33 - 17 to Novos, it was our game to lose.
Old Rish hit back with a well worked try when they exploited space out wide to score. With 20 minutes left to play, the game could have gone either way, however Novos weathered the Old Rish storm, and with some well placed tactical kicking by Richie Harrison, kept the home side at bay to secure the win by 33 - 24.
Thanks to our hosts for their hospitality on what was our first visit to Old Rish. A proper rugby club full of good people. Good luck in your quest in Yorkshire 1 and your next cup match vs Westoe.
To our referee, many thanks to you and your team. It's a difficult job, but you set out your stall early and stuck with it, albeit we escaped a yellow card late in the game for a high hit!
The man of the match was given to Sean Ramsey. It could have gone to Richie Harrison had he not been sent to the bin.
Then to the bus trip. But as the saying goes, what goes on tour... Let's just say it was emotional.
Up the Vos !!