A 39-7 score line in favour of Old Rishworthians away to Old Crossleyans yesterday was probably a fair reflection of the play and where the teams are at the moment.
Rishworthians, upwardly mobile on the back of a flourishing junior set-up, won the first ever league derby against a Crocs side desperately trying to stop the rot after successive relegations.
A crowd of approaching 400 included England stand off and former Rishworth School pupil George Ford and his dad Mike, now part of the Toulon coaching set-up.
They were at Broomfield to watch the third and youngest of the Ford brothers, Jacob, and the 18-year-old full back scored the second of the visitors’ six tries.
The outcome of the Yorkshire Two contest was never in doubt from the moment the Copley side touched down twice in three minutes just after the mid-point of the first half.
Rishworthians predictably produced the more co-ordinated effort against a Crocs side who introduced three more debutants in Kyle Maude, Steven Simpson and Shaun Youell.
Both coaches were dwelling on the positives afterwards with Rishworthians’ Chris Stone delighted to beat highly-motivated hosts and Crocs counterpart Mark Walton satisfied that his players had shown more appetite for a battle than against some of the other early strugglers recently.
The first quarter, between teams lying second from bottom and second from top in the table, was fairly even with just a simple eighth-minute penalty from visiting stand off Josh Kelly separating the sides.
Rishworthians then struck twice in quick succession on opposite sides of the field.
Ed Cockroft, already plaguing his former club, benefitted from an advantage played by the referee after left winger Anthony Shoesmith had been late tackled following a break and chip ahead.
Scrum half Cockroft then suffered the same fate as Shoesmith near the top touch line but Ford cashed in.
Kelly was on target with the first of the two conversion attempts for a 15-0 lead after 23 minutes.
Crocs hit back determinedly through their forwards, with Phil Schedlbauer and Raman Sembi prominent, and were held up over the try line.
When Kev McGill eventually knocked on a poor pass, Rishies went the length of the field in fine style from the subsequent scrum.
No 8 James Clarke picked up and sent centre Taniela Bakoso away. The supporting Ford provided the scoring pass for Matthew Hunt-Brown to finish on 33 minutes but Kelly missed the kick.
Crocs finished the half on the back foot, with visiting centre Bakoso unable to ground the ball over the line, but started the second period better.
Runs from skipper Jack Hammond and McGill went unsupported but a series of forward charges paved the way for No 8 Luke Sturman to dive through a gap close to a ruck and reach over the line. Gareth Sweeney converted.
A score of 7-20 quickly became 7-25 as Crocs coughed up possession on their own 22 and Clarke was unstoppable from close range.
Kelly missed the conversion and then a straight penalty, prompting a change of kicker after Cockroft had run round a couple of defenders for Rishworthians’ next try on 69 minutes.
Cockroft added a fine conversion and then an even better one from the top touchline after Shoesmith had beaten Joe Baker one-on-one.
That ended proceedings, Crocs having played out the closing stages with 14 men after successive yellow cards for McGill and Schedlbauer.