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Selby RUFC host Roundhegians
TABLE-TOPPING Selby RUFC host Roundhegians bidding to extend their advantage at the summit of Yorkshire Two.
The Sandhill Laners, unbeaten after their first three games and fresh off a 36-16 victory at Ripon last weekend, are a point ahead of West Leeds at the top as they prepare to take on mid-table opponents.
Coach Richard Nicholson believes the club’s run to the final of the Yorkshire Shield at the back end of last season has given his players confidence and form which they have continued into the new term.
“It’s a very good start and we have played some good rugby,” he said. “We were good in pre-season and that has paid dividends but we have to keep it going.”
Nicholson added: “It was nice to finish the season by getting to the Yorkshire Shield final. Unfortunately, we lost but it was a good achievement to get there in the first place. It showed the lads they could compete at that sort of level.
“It showed we were thereabouts and we had a close game at Scarborough this time around and they are third in Yorkshire One. It has been about getting that bit of belief – we’ve not particularly recruited – and the players are more consistent.
“Roundhegians are a bit unknown to us. They were promoted from Yorkshire Three but we are in no doubt that it will be a tough, competitive game.”
Sam Weller is expected to return in a couple of weeks from an injured shoulder but, otherwise, Nicholson has a virtually full squad to choose from.
The Gannock-based club travel to undefeated Beverley in what is sure to be a fiercely-contested derby with chiefs urging coach Chris Creber’s men to build a lead and to make sure they keep it.
Club spokesman Bill Laidler said the side “threw it away” in a 36-25 defeat at Middlesbrough last week after an opening half an hour which saw them score three tries.
“We committed suicide,” he said. “It is about being a bit more consistent. Once we have a lead, we have to try to hold on to what we have got and increase it – trying not to slip into bad old habits. We have played Beverley a lot in pre-season encounters and they have been 50-50 affairs.
“What we need is to play for the full game. If we had carried on against Middlesbrough like that we would have been out of sight.”
Henry Newitt, who twisted an ankle in training, is Malton’s only casualty with Tom Clark replacing him.
Pocklington’s tough start to the season continues as they travel to Morley.
Morley are traditionally one of Yorkshire’s top clubs and have spent years in the national leagues until successive relegations landed them in North One East to meet Pocklington who have made a two league journey in the opposite direction with their successive promotions.
It is the first time Pocklington have visited Morley’s Scatcherd Lane ground for more than 20 years.
Ben Stephenson keeps his place at hooker after coming off the bench last week, while lock Chris Hyde returns to the squad. Back at Percy Road, the Panthers are in action against Hull Ionians and have some experienced names making their comebacks.
York entertain North Ribblesdale in Yorkshire One at Clifton Park.
Captain Chris Fox returns to lead his side with Lance Hamilton also back following his late withdrawal last Saturday, when York beat Dinnington 25-18, for a family matter. His replacement Andy Kay keeps his place with Sam Thorpe and Ben Hobson picking up injuries at Dinnington. Jon Dawes makes his season’s debut for the latter, and Hugh Nicholson also comes into the side.
York RI, still looking for their first victory of the Yorkshire Three season, host Northallerton at New Lane.