Rishies aiming to maintain momentum

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Runaway Yorkshire Three leaders Old Rishworthians will aim to start 2013 as they finished 2012, with another victory.

The Copley side, who have only lost once in the league this season, travel to Aireborough looking to cement their position as champions elect.

But they will have to cope without the guiding hand of player-coach Damian Ball, who returns from holiday later in the afternoon, and influential South African Jamie Bloem, who has a broken jaw.

“Jamie’s going to be out for a few weeks,” said stand-in boss Dan Ingham.

“He’s got his rugby league refereeing commitments from the end of the month, so I’m not sure whether we’ll be seeing him again this season.

“The aim is obviously to go there and get a win, because it’s the start of another big month for us.

“We’ve got Bramley - who are second - and Baildon - who are third - coming up in the next couple of weeks and if we get through those games and we’re still well clear, I think people will start looking at it and thinking it’s game over.

“It’s important we don’t get carried away though, Aireborough are a tough side, who we only just beat 35-33 earlier in the season.

“It’s going to be a really heavy pitch at their place and we need to be prepared for that.”

Ingham does believe that Rishies will be better for the Christmas break though, naming key men Aaron Canning and Chris Dyson as two examples of players who have been living with ongoing injuries.

“A lot of people had niggling fitness problems and hopefully they will have cleared up with a bit of rest,” said Ingham.