Wins for Rishies and Brods
Old Rishworthians and Old Brodleians warmed up for their derby game at Copley on the opening day of the season, September 2, with wins on Saturday.
Promoted Rishworthians won 41-12 at West Park St Helens while Brods were 24-14 home winners over Cleckheaton.
Heath, who open at Middlesbrough in 12 days’ time and then host Rishworthians the following Saturday, lost 22-21 at West Leeds.
After a slow start, Rishworthians took their North West One hosts apart, scoring seven tries.
Originally it had been planned for three 30-minute sessions, but in the end the sides agreed to play a normal game using several replacements.
Rishworthians conceded 12 points in the opening minutes but then got their game together and never looked back.
There were two tries each for wingers Anthony Shoesmith and teenager Kian Stewart.
There were impressive debuts from newcomers Harry Whitfield, Olly Scrimshaw, Ben Waud and Dougie Heseltine, who also scored.
Other tries came from teenage scrum half Will McDonnell and lock Richard Bullough. Josh Kelly added three conversions.
Chris Stone and his coaching team were delighted with the performance and to come away with no injuries.
Brods beat their higher league opponents with both sides fielding squads of 24.
Cleckheaton fielded a generally bigger side than their hosts and looked to have the edge up front but as the game progressed the home pack, with Peter Williams and Alex Dawson back, proved more than equal to the task .
Cleck opened the scoring when player coach Mike Swetman set up his supporting right wing to score and added the conversion after 10 minutes.
Bob Sykes and Brodie Wilson tackled well and new Kiwi hooker Cameron Huka found his range throwing in at the lineouts.
Richard Stokes opened Brods’ account, supporting some excellent interplay by the backs, and a well taken conversion by Gaz Newman left the scores level at half time .
Brods upped the ante down the slope. Joe Armitage scored near the posts, new captain Rob Jennings added a further score and Stokes doubled his tally before Cleckheaton scored a consolation try .
Heath lost heavily at West Leeds last season but gave a far better performance this time and dominated in the forwards.
It was generally a fine all round performance and finishing with 14 players didn’t help.