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Rugby: Douglas hunting away points at Birkenhead Park

Under-pressure Vagabonds visit Thornton Cleveleys

Report by Dave Christian:

While the results aren’t coming at the moment, there’s a feeling that they’re not far away for Douglas as they enter the home straight in Regional 2 North West. This week they travel to Birkenhead Park. Park won at Port-e-Chee earlier in the season but only by five points however since then their results have shot them up the table and they lie in fifth place and are the last of the sides with a realistic chance at promotion.

Douglas contained league leaders Anselmians last Saturday and with Brad Bowmar the only injury concern they look to have a strong side available for the trip. Their previous record against Park isn’t brilliant and this game is likely to end the same way however there’s a possibility for some bonus points on the road and that means the game could be closer than the form book suggests.

Under-pressure Vagabonds travel to Thornton Cleveleys 

With a weekend off Vagas hit the road to Thornton Cleveleys this weekend chasing that elusive first win on the field this season in Counties 3 ADM Lancs/Cheshire. Vagas go into the game in bottom position and are five points adrift of nearest rivals Port Sunlight. Cleveleys have won four from their last five including an impressive away win against Garstang on 3 December and they won 24-0 at Ballafletcher in the corresponding fixture against Vagas.

With fellow strugglers Port Sunlight away at Old Bedians this is an ideal chance for Vagas to close the gap but analysis of the stats suggests it may not be their day. They’re scoring on average less than ten per game and the sight of three losing bonus points in their tally indicates that they’re not too far away from winning matches, this week is probably not the game to be targeting.

The Vagas pack is capable of holding its own in most set pieces but they just aren’t providing enough ball for the young back line to prosper. Cam Findlay will kick his goals for sure, but what’s really needed is tries. Mark Oldfield has been in good nick in the forwards and if he’s fit and available, it will boost the squad but is unlikely to yield match points which are desperately needed right now.

Ravenscroft Manx Trophy Continues

The new Manx Trophy competition has just one game on the card this weekend. At Ballakilley Park, Nomads Whites take on Ramsey’s Blues and Western Vikings.

Ramsey’s Reds and Western Vikings sit jointly at the top of the standings after two rounds. Vikings had a big win at QE2 last week, likewise the Reds at the Mooragh. Vikings scores came from right across the squad while Ramsey’s points machine Brandon Atchison picked up four on his own.

Linking up with a few Ramsey Blues should give Vikings a little more firepower this week and with no game for the Greens, Nomads will be a little stronger too which all makes for a good contest at Ballakilley.


Fixtures 28 January

Regional 2 North West

Birkenhead Park v Douglas @ Birkenhead Park (KO @ 2.15pm)

Counties 3 ADM Lancs/Cheshire

Thornton Cleveleys v Vagabonds ko tbc

Ravenscroft Manx Trophy

Southern Nomads Whites v Ramsey Blues and Western Vikings (KO @ 2.15pm)

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