There was no danger of this game being frozen off as in the last two years, with blistering double figure temperatures only chilled by a cold blustery wind. Both teams started with strong line-ups but clearly the respective coaches wanted to use the opportunity to give players game-time with lengthy replacement lists used on both sides.
The first half would have slotted in well alongside many of the derby games played out on Boxing Day's for decades. For the most part neither side threatened with pretty much all the action taking place between the 22's. Stu Waites and Chris Sainty traded penalties for offside, after Waites had missed an earlier shot from almost the same spot.
The first try eventually came on the half hour. Good linking play from Cheslin, Gareth Foreman and Greg Edwards on the left touchline almost led to a score but from the resulting 5 metre scrum Jonny Boatman picked up and drove over for the try. Gareth Foreman had been instrumental in the build up to the try but it was to be his last action as he left the field with an ankle injury to be replaced by Scott Butcher, Waites taking up the fly-half berth.
Ryan Painter was introduced for his first team debut in place of Andrew Foreman 5 minutes before the break and it was his box-kick 6 minutes into the second period which set up our next try. Getting excellent height on the kick the wind made it difficult for Ben Cushlow and the Rovers winger could only parry the ball into the path of the chasing Waites who collected and raced away for a simple try.
Having thrown everything at us in the first half, in particular competing ferociously at the breakdown, Rovers began to tire as the half wore on and when Michael Hogan crossed for our third try on the hour it signalled the end of any credible Rovers challenge.
Five minutes later Waites and Liam Bailey set up a good try for another replacement Craig Swales, who raced clear up the left wing before touching down under the posts to allow Waites an easy conversion for 25-3.
The one-way traffic continued with first Andrew Davies crashing over for a try and then, not to be outdone by his second row colleague, Ben Lloyd minutes later - Waites converting the first.
Rovers made a brief foray into our half in the closing minutes with Steve Jones looking to be away up the left wing only for an excellent cover tackle from Greg Edwards to deny him and there was just enough time left for Andrew Foreman, back on the field for the final ten minutes, to score and make sure there was at least one Foreman on the scoresheet in another West/Rovers derby!
Some would probably say the final scoreline flattered us given the tightness of the first hour, others would argue we wore Rovers down in that period and the class showed when they began to tire in the last quarter. Either way it was a convincing win and ensures we can keep the local bragging rights, at least until this time next year.
West: Waites, A Cheslin, Edwards, Watson (Swales 52), G Foreman (Butcher 34), A Foreman (R Painter 39), Wood (Hogan 48), Bailey, Coates, Davies, T Dixon, D Boatman, J Boatman, Gilmour (A Dixon 2, Lloyd 48)
Tries: J Boatman, Waites, Hogan, Swales, Davies, Lloyd, A Foreman
Cons: Waites 3
Rovers: B Foreman, B Cushlow, Grand (Coulson 49), Lilley (Durrans 65), A Smith (Jones 20), Sainty, S Barnfield, Tucker (S Smith 70), J Cushlow (Gregory 54), I Pinchen (Wise 54), A Pinchen (Baxter 70), D Smith (Hanley 49), Dring, Maddison, Grazier
Referee: Paul Fincken [Durham Society]