CONFIDENCE is still soaring at Malton & Norton RUFC as they prepare to travel to third-placed Sheffield in North One East tomorrow.

A 24-16 home defeat by leaders Wheatley Hills last weekend ended the Ryedale side’s four-match winning run, but club spokesman Bill Laidler drew positives from the result.

Malton became only the third team this season to get within ten points of the leaders and Laidler said: “It could have gone our way last weekend with a little bit more luck. Not many teams have run them that close, so confidence is still high.

“It doesn’t get any easier for us this weekend going to Sheffield. We have always had a battle against them and we are away so that makes it harder.”

Centre Ryan Lonsdale misses the game with a rib injury, but he is expected to be fit for the club’s game against Old Crossleyans on Saturday, December 8 after a break from league action next weekend.

Winger Henry Newitt, who has missed most of the season with an ankle injury, is on the road to recovery, but is not expected back in first-team action until closer to Christmas.

Pocklington travel to Halifax to face Old Crossleyans searching for their sixth victory of the North One East campaign. The East Yorkshire side are without the Holbrough brothers, Jack and Joe, but Dan Wilson returns after being away in Prague last weekend.

Meanwhile, Selby can get their Yorkshire Two promotion bid back on track with a trip to basement side Castleford tomorrow.

The Swans won their opening seven fixtures but have lost three of their last four games, albeit to the only three sides above them in the table – Doncaster Phoenix, Yarnbury and West Leeds.