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Heworth ARLC coach Tim Rumford encouraged to see Villagers competing at last
TIM RUMFORD admits his Heworth side have suffered “heart-wrenching” defeats in their last two games – but says even that represents notable progress at Elm Park Way.
The Villagers lost to a late Hindley try last week, seven days after falling 28-20 at Crosfields.
However, after a few years deep in the doldrums and a long losing run, culminating in being dumped into the new division three of the National Conference League, Rumford, who took over as coach last winter, says winning some games and being competitive in others has been a “step forward”.
They face a difficult trip this Saturday to fifth-placed Woolston Rovers, who need a victory to maintain hopes of promotion, all made harder by the absence of half-backs Dane Weatherill and leading points-scorer Tom Barron, and key forward Jonny Payne. But Rumford was eager for his side to maintain their “competitive edge” as they continue to develop.
“In the last two games we’ve missed out on the points as a result of poor execution in the last five minutes,” he said.
“At Crosfields we would have won if we’d completed our sets and against Hindley we were in control of the ball with a minute to go 20 metres from the line but we dropped it and they picked it up and scored the winner.
“Those results were frustrating but we’re in a position where we’re competing, which shows we’ve taken a big step forward this season.
“We’re in a position to win games with five or ten minutes to go. It’s heart-wrenching to lose them but it represents a step forward on previous years.”
Woolston won the reverse fixture 56-6 in June, after Heworth had Tom Speck sent off early on for an alleged headbutt – the forward later being cleared in a disciplinary hearing.
Speck should be back to renew acquaintances with the Warrington outfit this weekend following a fractured thumb, while Adam Caddie is poised to take one of the vacant half-back roles. Mike Welsh (knee) is doubtful, however, while Payne is unlikely to feature as he is in York City Knights’ under-20s squad that goes to Oldham tonight.
“This is a tough one,” said Rumford. “Woolston have got among the leading pack. Their goal will be to win handsomely. Maybe if they force it we can force errors and hopefully stay in the game and get something out of it.
“We were going toe to two with them at our place but then got a man sent off and they won convincingly in the end.”
With four games to go, Rumford added: “We need to maintain that competitive edge, being in games and in with a chance to win with ten or 15 minutes to go, and then we can get a bit better in those closing stages, composing ourselves better and closing games out rather than falling off the other side of the knife edge.”
Heworth ‘A’ have a tough trip to leaders Shaw Cross ‘A’ in the Yorkshire Men’s League division two.
York Lokomotive, who enjoyed victory at Heworth last week, will look to follow up at Elland ‘A’ and round off their campaign in good fashion.
Selby Warriors, meanwhile, visit Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks in the development division.
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