Rishworthians go into Sunday’s Yorkshire Shield final at Hull Ionians determined to do a double over their already promoted opponents Scarborough.
They gave the seasiders a real fright in February when they travelled east to register a bonus point win and almost scupper the Scarborough promotion hopes.
“To win the Shield would be real bonus for us after a fantastic first season in Yorkshire One,” said player-coach Chris Stone.
“Finishing sixth in the table is amazing, although it’s almost disappointing as we lost several games by only a couple of points.
“We beat both our local rivals Heath and Brods away from home as well as Scarborough and we have been able to introduce a number of exciting young players from our junior ranks,” said Stone.
There are more talented youngsters waiting in the wings, as proved by Rishworthians’ Colts playing in their Yorkshire Cup final against Sheffield at Sandal last night.
The Copley men aim to field a squad stuffed with youngsters against Scarborough, including Ben Sutcliffe, Kian Stewart, Sam Bake, Greg Day, Harry Robinson and Thomas Jowle.
They will be hoping that Josh Kelly will also be on target with the boot as he was in the semi-final against Middlesbrough, where he kicked seven penalty goals as Rishworthians won their third game in eight days.
The pack too looks strong and is boosted by the inclusion of young lock Richard Bullough.
All round it’s a story of strength and pace as Rishworthians, playing at the highest level in their history, prepare for their first Yorkshire Shield final.
“We have the skill and determination and the knowledge we’ve already beaten them on their home turf. We’ve prepared well in training and to win the final would really be the icing on this season’s cake,” said Stone.
Scarborough will start favourites in the eyes of most neutrals. The Silver Royd side were promoted to North One East in somewhat bizarre circumstances when Durham City conceded their scheduled promotion play-off clash and so have had a rest.
One spectator who will have a special interest in Sunday’s match is Simon Rowe, who has played for both clubs represented in the final.
He played for Old Rishworthians in the 1960s as a winger and for Scarborough in the early 1970s as scrum half before moving back to Calderdale.
Rowe’s son Ed said: “Although he’ll be cheering on Old Rishworthians on Sunday he has a place in his heart for both teams.”