Selby RUFC coach warns of Phoenix frights

Pocklington's Josh Britland

Pocklington's Josh Britland

First published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

RICHARD NICHOLSON isn’t getting carried away despite seeing his Selby RUFC side latch on to the fringes of the Yorkshire One promotion race.

The Sandhill Laners have begun 2014 in sumptuous fashion and destroyed Keighley 55-15 last week – a result which pushed them up to fifth in the table.

With York having suffered successive defeats and facing a tough trip to Doncaster Phoenix, a win for Selby at Heath would see them leapfrog their local rivals.

But head coach Nicholson, although encouraged by his team’s displays, believes tomorrow’s match – against a team that has won just five times this season – will not be straightforward.

“There’s still a long way to go, some very difficult games, and there are two or three teams above us that are winning regularly,” he said of Selby’s ambitions.

“You half-need them to slip up. We will just keep playing on and taking each week as it comes.

“Heath will not be a pushover. We had a really tough game at our place and it will be the same sort of task again.

“These are the hardest ones, the games you should win on paper. Our aim is to manage it as best we can.”

Added Nicholson: “This year was about being competitive. We have proven that we can be. We want to make ourselves difficult to play against and we have done that without a doubt.

“Now we have to kick on, see where we are at the end of this season, and look to target next year.”

Malton & Norton are hugely confident after impressive back-to-back wins against Wheatley Hills and West Hartlepool and club spokesman Bill Laidler thinks they will need their belief at second placed Huddersfield in Yorkshire One.

“They are a hard running team, they’ve got a big side of backs and they are very fast,” he said.

“We are about as strong as we can be, squad-wise, and we are playing as a team. No one is standing out, you couldn’t really say there has been a man of the match in the last two games. Everyone is going at it full whack. We have great confidence.”

George Harrison misses out for Malton after injuring his knee last week. “He had an operation on his knee in the close season and there might still be something there,” added Laidler.

Pocklington, who have struggled against lowly north east opposition in recent weeks, are back at Percy Road and hosting Middlesbrough in North One East.

They have a number of players facing fitness tests after picking up knocks in the last two games and pick a 22-man squad, but three-quarter Josh Britland returns after being away skiing for the past fortnight.

York, after those two narrow losses against Dinnington and North Ribblesdale, have the equally tough prospect of going to Doncaster Phoenix in Yorkshire One.

With the Clifton Parkers’ promotion dreams now under severe threat, a good display is vital against the third placed South Yorkshire outfit, who are nine points clear of York in the table.

York RI await the visit of Hornsea in Yorkshire Four.

York RI (v Hornsea): from Lonsdale, Land, Evrat, Ward, Barthelemy, Skaith, Cuthbertson, Metcalfe, Briu, Bellwood, Lewis, Watling, Hodsdon, Brentnall, Greaves, McCarthey, Steel, Morley, Coates, Musgrave, Agen, Webster, Jordan, Aherne, Leeming, Baker, Weingarth, Farnsworth, Scholfield, Smith. Meet 12.45pm, kick off 2.15pm.

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