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Contrasting odds for rising Malton & Norton RUFC
10:05am Friday 2nd November 2012 in Sport
The form book is in favour of Malton & Norton RUFC as they travel to Keighley in North One East, writes Nick Wright.
Malton have recorded three straight victories to lift them out of trouble near the foot of the table – the consequence of a poor start to the season that saw them win just one of their first six games.
Tomorrow’s opponents, on the other hand, have lost five consecutive matches, including a narrow 14-10 defeat to Malt’s local rivals, Pock-lington, last week, which has pulled them towards the relegation zone.
A bonus point victory could potentially catapult Malton up to fourth in the table, such is the close nature of the league.
Club spokesman Bill Laidler said: “It will be a close game, they always are at Keighley.
“We have two or three injury worries, but if we’re at full strength, we’ll be confident.”
Pocklington will be up against it when they travel to league leaders Wheatley Hills.
The Doncaster outfit have an intimidating record, rampaging to the summit of the division by winning all nine of their games while also boasting the league’s meanest defence, conceding just 109 points.
But Pock played some fine rugby themselves last week to see off Keighley and will look to upset the odds. They name an unchanged squad which includes threequarter Phill Knight, a closed season recruit from York who was a late call-up last week and made his senior debut off the bench.
York have the perfect opportunity to get their season back on track when they host bottom-of-the-table Knottingley in Yorkshire One.
York have won only three out of nine games all season, a run of poor form that has threatened to trap them in a relegation dogfight. However, their opponents have fared worse, losing all nine of their fixtures and conceding 353 points, the highest total in the division.
Defeat for the home side could see them fall to 11th place, two above the relegation zone, so there is extra incentive for York to record a big victory.
Selby coach Richard Nicholson has the luxury of a full complement of players for the second week running when his side travel to fourth-placed Yarnbury.
The Swans moved six points clear at the top of Yorkshire Two with a 38-10 victory over West Park Leeds last week but will face a tougher proposition this Saturday in Yarnbury, who have also recorded back-to-back wins to give them momentum going into the game.
Nicholson recognised the difficulty of Selby’s task ahead. He said: “It will be a tough game, they’re doing well in fourth place at the moment.
“It will be a good challenge and one that we are looking forward to.”
Yorkshire Three strugglers York RI have another tough test in store tomorrow when they welcome third-placed Goole to New Lane.
Goole have won four matches in a row and are beginning to look like real promotion contenders.
RI, by contrast, have suffered several heavy defeats in recent weeks, including last week’s 58-16 loss at Hemsworth.
RI’s preparation has been disrupted in recent weeks as they have not been certain of a consistent starting 15, but coach Dan Coates believes his side’s fortunes can change.
“If you look at the results this season, the bottom teams have been beating the top teams all season, so there is always a chance.”
Senior fixtures revert to 2.15pm kick off for the next four months.