Malton & Norton RUFC put full focus on victory

CONCENTRATION is the key for Malton & Norton RUFC when they host fellow North One East strugglers Alnwick at The Gannock tomorrow (2.15pm).

Lapses in that department allowed Driffield to pinch a 37-32 victory last weekend, a result that saw the Ryedale side dragged closer to the bottom five in the table.

Alnwick have won four of their 13 games this season, with last weekend’s 17-0 home victory over Morpeth lifting them out of the bottom two.

Malt spokesman Bill Laidler said: “We will have to defend better than last week and concentrate. That let us down more than anything against Driffield. Two tries came from that.

“We should have won the game because we were leading all the way through until near the end.”

Victory over Alnwick would give Malton breathing space at the bottom of the table heading into the two-week break for Christmas and New Year.

“It is close at the bottom and there is a bit of a gap between us and the next team above us,” said Laidler.

“It would definitely be a better Christmas if we can get five points.

“We’ve then got two weeks off to recharge batteries and come back firing on January 4.

“This is one where we are looking for a win.

“Alnwick have a long way to travel, so it will be an early start for them and the chances are they will be missing one or two players.”

Paul Dobson is unavailable so his place in the front row will be taken by Adam Turnbull.

The backs are more settled, with brothers Tom and Henry Newitt lining up alongside York City Knights centre George Elliott.

The Newitts returned to the side last weekend and Laidler said they looked a potent force.

“George Elliott and the two Newitts have got pace to burn and that is a great help,” he said. “They have also all got some nous upstairs.”

Fourth-placed Pocklington kick off the second half of their North One East campaign with a trip to Halifax-based Old Crossleyans tomorrow (2.15pm).

Pock beat Old Crossleyans 24-19 at Percy Road in September – the second win of a six-match sequence of victories to start the season.

The East Yorkshire side have slipped from first to fourth in the table after losing four of their last seven matches, but a victory over their fifth-placed hosts would safeguard their top-four spot going into the Christmas break.

Fy-half Pete Massie is unavailable for tomorrow’s fixture, but fellow half-back Graham Pickering returns after missing last week’s 31-18 defeat at Huddersfield YMCA.

Threequarter Phill Knight has also been drafted into the first-team squad after showing good form with the Panthers side.

Dan Wilson is also back to take his place in the second row.

Pocklington Panthers are at home to Driffield tomorrow (2.15pm).

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