By Tom Little.
October 28 2012
3rd/4th November match previews.
Week 9 27th October results:
Blackheath 35 18 Cambridge
Esher 19 12 Cinderford
Fylde 22 20 Coventry
Loughborough St 18 37 Blaydon
Old Albanian(s) 31 9 Sedgley Park
Richmond 17 37 Rosslyn Park
Tynedale 21 27 Macclesfield
Wharfedale 17 41 Ealing Tfs
No fewer than 6 bonus points wins this week, but more importantly all top 4 sides winning. We are now starting to see that Ealing, Rosslyn Park, Blaydon and Esher are now getting a slight cushion over the chasing pack.
Leaders Ealing Tfs, once again showed their clinical prowess in finishing off Wharfedale, who disrupted by injuries still created plenty of chances but too many errors thwarted their efforts.
Rosslyn Park continued their excellent start with their 6th win in a row, this time over Richmond, whose crowd of 1437 was the largest seen in National League 1 this season. Another story of errors which cost the home side, despite a dominant pack two late tries by Nev Edwards somewhat flattered the visitors.
Blaydon in 3rd place continue to surprise many even perhaps themselves with a bonus point win over Loughborough Students, unable to build on their last two wins.
The closest of the games involving the top 4, was at Esher as they beat a resilient Cinderford side, with all Esher’s points coming in the first half. At one stage down to 13 men Cinderford came back strongly in the 2nd half, but their lack of finishing power couldn’t earn them a draw.
It was another close call at Fylde, as Coventry were involved for the third game in a row with injury times scores which effected the result, this time giving a victory to the home side. At times a scrappy but also an exciting game had far too many errors in it by both sides, with Coventry seemingly more affected by official decisions than their opponents. This win allowed Fylde to overtake Coventry into 7th place yet still only 4 points behind Esher in 4th.
The return of James Shanahan to Old Albanian colours which allowed him to renew his half back partnership with Stefan Liebenberg, proved decisive with Stefan’s two tries helping them get the bonus point win over Sedgley Park.
Tynedale, slumped to their 4th loss in a row being beaten at home by previously bottom side Macclesfield, which lifts them into 14th place, closing the gap between them and 13th placed Sedgley Park. Two late scores somewhat flattered the home side, with Macclesfield running out deserved winners.
The final game saw driving maul specialists Blackheath overcome a brave but outgunned forward unit of Cambridge. No fewer than 4 tries were scored by flanker Dave Allen, all from lineout driving mauls to go with the 2 he scored last week against Cinderford. Coventry- you have been warned.
This win after 3 defeats lifts Blackheath into 6th place, but defeat puts Cambridge into bottom place.
This week a couple of close games but with the top 4 all winning and making a determined attempt to put daylight between them and the rest, the 9 teams below from 5th to 13th place are still only separated by 2 bonus points wins. For the first time this season Macclesfield escape from the bottom and are starting to close the gap between them, Sedgley Park and Tynedale just above them.
The next few weeks should start to see if Macclesfield’s momentum can be continued, and at the top is there anyone who can stop the Ealing bandwagon.
Week 10: 3rd /4th November fixtures with match previews
Cambridge v Esher
Cinderford v Wharfedale
Ealing Tfs v Old Albanian(s)
Macclesfield v Richmond
Rosslyn Park v Fylde
Sedgley Park v Blaydon
Tynedale v Loughborough Students
Coventry Rugby v Blackheath
Some intriguing games this weekend especially those involving teams at the bottom of the league. Can Macclesfield continue their recent revival putting even more pressure on those teams just above them?
Certainly Macclesfield have a chance being at home to Richmond. A battle of two good packs, with Richmond’s heavy loss to Rosslyn Park, somewhat masking a good pack performance. The home side buoyed by their victory away at Tynedale must be slight favourites.
Tynedale after their 4th loss in a row can’t be too confident of the visit of the speedy Loughborough Students side, who are determined to move out of the bottom three. In the end the experience of the home side should prove enough.
Bottom side Cambridge can’t fancy their chances at home to 4th placed Esher .However Cambridge did show enough in their in their loss to Blackheath for their pack not to be overawed. It is not every week you have to face an imperious Dave Allen! Saying that, Esher should have enough firepower in the backs to take this one.
Another side struggling to keep away from the red zone is Sedgley Park who have high flying Blaydon as their visitors. If Blaydon can maintain their form and dominate all areas of the game they should run out comfortable winners.
Leaders Ealing Tfs face an Old Albanians side, hopefully with James Shanahan and Stefan Liebenberg running the game from halfback. Even so Ealing should have enough quality and finishing prowess to win this one.
Six wins in as many games has put Rosslyn Park into 2nd place, but face a Fylde side on their own run of three wins. A hard fought game is expected but the power of the Rosslyn Park pack is expected to prove decisive, although a win for Fylde could get them into a top 4 position.
Cinderford must be favourites with their excellent home record and after running Esher so close last week. Wharfedale after a heavy but brave loss to leaders Ealing don’t always travel well, so a win for the Foresters could get them back into 4th place.
Finally the Sunday game sees the meeting of two old adversaries as Coventry Rugby entertain Blackheath. In what is expected to be before the largest National league 1 crowd of the season, a close but hard fought game is expected. Blackheath back to winning ways after beating Cambridge and Coventry who had to see their winning lead vanish deep into injury time will be battling to see who can put pressure on the top 6, a win for Coventry will put them ahead of Blackheath.
A mouth-watering prospect indeed.
A full Coventry Rugby v Blackheath match preview will be available later on in the week.
Coventry Rugby press office
29th October 2012
|28 Oct, 2012 18:39||Report|
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