OLD GROVIANS were beaten 47-19 at Old Rishworthians in Yorkshire Two but took plenty of encouragement from a battling second-half display.

Trailing 33-0 at half-time, it looked like they were in for a repeat of the earlier season 85-0 drubbing by their second-placed opponents.

However, a spirited second period saw them outscore their hosts 19-14 and just fail to secure a try bonus.

Rishworthians' flying backs had opened up 17-0 lead and they took further advantage when Grovians Max Kennedy and Danny Secker were given yellow cards in the space of two minutes.

The game was over in the following ten minutes as Rishworthians scored two more tries to give them a huge half-time lead.

The second half saw a spirited Grovians performance in which they dominated up front. Danny Secker scored after five minutes of the half after the pack had driven a lineout nearly 25 metres to the Rishworthians line.

Replacement Max Nesbitt marked his debut with a try and Ben Brown converted to make the score 33-12. Rishworthians rallied with two tries of their own before Pad Burns broke through the centre after another good line-out drive. Brown converted.

With the referee giving Rishworthians a yellow card for persistent infringements, Grovians looked to secure a try bonus but a couple of breaks by Kennedy and George Butler didn’t quite come off.

Rishworthians look strong contenders for promotion as Grovians dropped down to fifth ahead of their next clash at home to Thornensians.

Coach Andy Hinchliffe remained upbeat despite defeat. He said: “Rishworthians started this match just as they had finished the match at Elm Tree back in September. Their outside backs showed off their skills and speed, and delivered a healthy lead at half-time.

"However unlike earlier in the season, the young Grovian players showed a desire and commitment not seen before in such circumstances.

"In the second half, playing in to the elements, we kept possession for long periods and most importantly maintained patience. The forwards dominated play and the backs implemented an amended defensive system to equalise the threat from the Rish backs.

"It was another demonstration of the potential the players have and the addition of the Woodhouse Grove School youngsters is a huge bonus.

"The players always enjoy themselves, play with a smile and have an exceptional team spirit, plus their skill set is high.

"But this game could be the one to trigger the team’s development to the next stage and utilise that potential. Despite the final score this was a good day for the club.”

Team: Kennedy, Neal, Firth, Ria-Rayne, Butler, Burns, Brown, Secker, Johnstone, Ryan, Dodd, Elcock, Garforth, Worrall, Robinson. Replacements: Lawrence, Blackhall, Nesbitt