Malton & Norton hoping Wheatley Hills not alive to cunning plan

Scott Littlefair is action

Scott Littlefair is action

First published in Sport

MALTON & NORTON RUFC are planning to inflict on Wheatley Hills something they haven’t experienced this season – a defeat.

The visitors come to The Gannock on top of the North One East table and boasting a perfect ten wins from ten games record.

The task facing the Ryedale side “couldn’t get any tougher” said club spokesman Bill Laidler but coach Chris Creber and his squad are approaching the match full of confidence.

They are themselves on a run of four consecutive wins, which has helped them into mid-table, while they are also drawing on their two clashes with their opponent last season. Wheatley Hills won a tightly contested home game with a late drop goal, and were beaten at Malton.

“We’re at home and we should have a few players back,” Laidler said. “We haven’t selected the side yet but we expect to be able to pick from a full strength squad apart from Ryan Lonsdale, who has broken ribs.

“If we can win it would be their first defeat and we have just won four on the trot. Confidence is high – there’s no problem with that – and we will be going out there to win.”

Pocklington welcome back skipper Mat Webber for their North One East encounter with Sheffield at Percy Road.

With Dan Wilson unavailable the experienced Scott Littlefair is lined up for back row cover while three-quarter Nick Bennett is also included.

Sheffield have made only one previous visit to Pocklington, a Yorkshire Cup tie in the late 1980s, but the South Yorkshire outfit are on a good run and are currently third in the table. It means Pocklington will have faced the league’s top three sides, Wheatley Hills, Beverley and Sheffield, on successive Saturdays.

York travel to Old Brodleians in Yorkshire One looking to beat the team immediately below them in the table. Both sides have amassed just four wins from ten games but, after a poor start, there is a sense the Clifton Parkers have turned the corner following their 56-20 thumping of Knottingley in the league a couple of weeks ago.

That continued last time out with a 52-5 trouncing of Redcar in the Yorkshire Shield. Eddie Bradshaw, Ben Johnson and Joe Kirker, who all played major parts in that win, continue in the side as coach Sean Bass hunts another morale-boosting victory.

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