Momentum with Rishies going into derby date with Vandals

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IT’S derby day at Warley tomorrow when Halifax Vandals continue their Yorkshire Three relegation fight against Old Rishworthians (2.15).

The home side are desperate for points. They are bottom of the table with just three wins and are licking their wounds after a 58-0 mauling away to Bramley Phoenix last week.

However, survival in the section is still very much within their grasp as they are only five points behind Hessle and Old Modernians, having played one game less than their rivals.

Rishworthians have steadied the ship after relegation from Yorkshire Two. A 23-10 home success against Modernians last weekend means they have a better than even league record this season and they will be hot favourites.

They won the earlier meeting at Copley by 20-16, resisting a late fightback from the visitors, and will travel confident of completing the double.

Parity up front is vital for Vandals but Andy White, Jamie Richardson, Jon Isherwood and Liam Blue are all still missing from the pack.

A number of backs return after unavailability or injury and Chris Davis, with competition for places, has delayed naming his starting XV.

Their inconsistency and the fact that the derby meetings are invariably close will be the biggest worries for Rishworthians.

Coach John Clough is delighted with the way his young team is performing but with an average age of 19 in the pack he is wary of the strength of the Vandals forwards.

Young players like Harry Collett, Ryan Mudd, Phil Kershaw and Matt Tyson have all made their mark this season, while the Copley men will be looking to the experience of skipper Gary Morris and Aaron Canning at halfback.

The teams will be playing for the Trevor Whitworth Trophy, won by Rishworthians two seasons ago when the teams last met at Warley in the league. They went on to promotion.