NEW Earswick All Blacks ARLC are eyeing a fifth straight win and third place in the Pennine League championship division.
All Blacks go to basement side Moorends Thorne Marauders on Saturday (2pm) in buoyant mood after a 10-8 victory at Slaithwaite maintained their resurgence and lifted them to fourth.
Winger Dean Smith could miss the rest of the campaign after dislocating a knee, while Louis Poole is left out due to family commitments, but All Blacks will be boosted by the returns of playmaker Liam Gargan, who was unavailable last weekend, and BARLA Under-23s tourist Jack Sinclair, who will make his long-awaited seasonal bow after a lengthy shoulder problem.
With other teams involved in local cup competitions, victory on Saturday will lift All Blacks another place in the standings.
Said player-boss Jack Stearman: “Having Jack back will be a massive boost. He’s a key player for us. Liam is available again, too, which is great – although it gives me some more selection headaches.”
All Blacks thrashed Moorends 46-0 at home in September – their only league win prior to the current run and their “most complete performance of the season” according to Stearman – but the player-coach had a quick word of warning, as his side suddenly find themselves as big favourites for victory.
“As I always say, everyone can beat everyone else in this division,” he said.
“We’ve got four wins on the bounce, though, and confidence is high. The game last Saturday was one we would have lost earlier in the season, so we can take a lot of positives from that. That was four on the bounce and now we look for five on the bounce. If we stick to the game plan we should come away with the victory.”
Selby Warriors need to pick up points fast to escape the drop in division one but they face another tough task as they go to promotion-chasing West Leeds. Selby Warriors ‘A’ host Wyke ‘A’ in division seven.
Division five promotion-seekers Sherburn Bears go to championship side Chequerfield for a Castleford ARL Cup tie.
• YORK Acorn RLC are holding an open evening for prospective junior players tonight from 6.30pm to 9pm at their Thanet Road base.