Runaway Yorkshire Three leaders Old Rishworthians head to Goole tomorrow for a game coach Damian Ball has labelled as “season defining”.
Ball’s side are already 12 points clear of tomorrow’s second-placed opponents at the top of the ladder, with the prospect of that gap stretching out to 17 with a bonus-point win this weekend.
“It’s a massive game; quite possibly the one that will define our season,” said Ball, whose side have now won 12 games from 13 starts this season after last week’s Silver Trophy win at Hornsea teed up a quarter final date at Baildon.
“I think if we opened up a gap like that, it would be a pretty daunting prospect for the teams that are below us aspiring to close it.
“We’re going there with confidence, but also expecting a really difficult afternoon.
“They didn’t make a great start to the season, but since then they’ve been winning consistently.
“It’s not always by big margins, but they’re getting the results and we’re under no illusions about what it’s going to be like.”
Rishworthians have been in free-flowing form so far, and Ball concedes that adapting that style could be one of their biggest challenges over the winter months.
“We’ve been pretty expansive, but obviously the bad weather and the heavier pitches are here now and that’s possibly going to suit other teams more than us,” he said.
“We need to learn how to play well in those conditions and that will be a focus for us this week.
“We’ve got the forwards to do it, it’s just a case of adapting.”
The visitors will be at full strength with No 8 James Clarke available again and South African dangerman Jamie Bloem also in the frame.
“It will be our best team,” said Ball.