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Thursday, 28 May 2015

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Crunch game for buoyant Tynedale

IF it’s entertainment you’re after, Tynedale Park at Corbridge is the place to be on Saturday.


Tynedale play hosts to fellow strugglers Cinderford, in a game which could see the Blue and Whites safe from relegation.
Chairman of senior rugby John Shotton said: “Other results would have to go out way, but if we can claim maximum points and blank them, that should be enough.
“But they are fighting for their lives too, and it won’t be easy.
“After the excitement of that last two home games, we are hoping for a big crowd for the penultimate home game of the season.”
Tynedale’s transformation since being humiliated at Blaydon before Christmas has been phenomenal.
After winning only three of their first 15 fixtures, they have only lost three times in the next 11 – two of those defeats coming against the top two teams.
Centre Ben Frankland is vying to become the league’s top scorer with 18 tries, his former life as a flanker ensuring he is in the right place to touch down from rolling mauls behind Tynedale’s formidable pack.
Cinderford currently occupy the third relegation spot in National Division One, six points behind Tynedale, but the side from the Forest of Dean have two games in hand because of January’s floods in Gloucestershire.
After losing their first seven away games this season, Cinderford have shown improved form on their travels in 2014, winning 23-11 at Hull Ionians and 12-5 at Henley, and suffering narrow defeats at Blackheath (32-24) and Fylde (35-29).
The low point was a 62-28 hammering at league leaders, Doncaster Knights on January 11.
Last Saturday, they overcame a 19-3 deficit at half-time to win 22-19 at home to relegation rivals Loughborough Students.
Only already relegated Hull Ionians (25) have scored fewer tries on their travels than Cinderford's tally of 28.
In addition, they have conceded 56 tries in their 12 away games.
Tynedale will be without 10-try winger Sep Visser who is at a wedding, but the versatile Matty Outson returns after injury.
Flanker Harrison Collins was forced off at half-time with a leg injury in Saturday’s win over Hull Ionians, and it is touch and go whether he will play. Kick-off is 3pm.