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Norman Angell’s comprehensive league round-up

Last Saturday our side entertained Sandal whom we had defeated 46-14 earlier in the season and who were tenth in the league table.
As in the previous home game against Morley, our visitors gave us a very hard time as they were a much stronger side than in the previous game and at half-time they deservedly led by 17-5.
Our boys came out with great determination for the second period and scored three more tries to win a very tough match by 26-20, including the cherished bonus point.
Our tries were scored by Callum Lancaster, Mike Dias, Ben Boothman and Mike Adlard, with Steve Johnson landing three towering conversions from the touch line.
Reading the Sandal match report, which was very fair and well written, I was amused to see that the reporter marked all of our scores as ‘Unknown’. If ‘Mr. Unknown’ had scored five more points he would have beaten the club points in a match record. James Cameron will breathe a sigh of relief!!
Elsewhere in the division Birkenhead Park were thrashed at home by Billingham, to the tune of 58-10, the team we had beaten at Billingham the previous week; Morley were unable to maintain the gritty form they had showed in the two previous weeks against Hull and Harrogate and went down 22-0 at Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale pushed visitors Lymm all the way before losing by 11-5 which was a good result for ourselves as we are now both on the same league points.
Bottom of the table Pocklington against top of the table Preston Grasshoppers looked like being a very good hiding for the home side but Pock surprised the high-fliers by losing by only 25-17, narrowly missing the losing bonus point. Rossendale, who have not really got going this season, were beaten 26-7 at home by Harrogate.
The Ilkley v Wirral fixture was postponed as the pitch was unfit to play on.
All these results confirm that ‘Hoppers are in pole position with 91 points from 20 games, Harrogate are second with 71 points from 19 games and Lymm and ourselves are on 70 points but Lymm have played 19 games to our 18. We have a scoring difference of +288 to Lymm’s +274 but Lymm have won 14 games to our 13.
There is no change at the botton with Morley on 22, Birkenhead Park on 18 and Pocklington on 12.
Time is rapidly running out for these three clubs.
This Saturday is again catch-up day and four re-arranged fixtures are due to be played.
The top game has to be Lymm v Hull where third play fourth and which is a really vital game for both clubs.
It could go either way and both clubs will be really up for it. Lymm lost at Ilkley two weeks ago and just beat Kirkby Lonsdale last week while Hull had a good win at Billingham and just beat Sandal.
I just hope our boys can do a ‘Bill’ on them!!
Pocklington v Kirkby Lonsdale where bottom play eleventh is another difficult one to predict after Pock’s great show last week v ‘Hoppers but Kirkby Lonsdale beat ‘Hoppers 17-12 on January 27th and nearly beat Lymm last week. Home advantage could prove to be the deciding factor.
Rossendale v Wirral were 7th play 6th for me is a home win. Wirral are very poor on the road and the Ross pitch could be heavy and will favour the home side.
Finally the Sandal v Harrogate game is another that could defy the league placings of tenth v second. Sandal looked a very good side against Hull last week but ‘Gate have won six and drawn one of their last seven games and are on a very good roll. I expect ‘Gate to post a narrow win but I don’t underestimate Sandal’s chance of an upset. It should be a great Yorkshire derby.

Norman Angell.


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