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Monday, 25 May 2015

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Two points needed for Tynedale

Tynedale first XV's topsy turvy season comes to a shattering climax at Corbridge tomorrow.


They go into the last game of the season against fellow strugglers Henley Hawks as one of five sides who could still fill the final relegation spot from National Division One.

As well as the Hawks, Tynedale are in contention with Loughborough Students, Cinderford and Wharfedale to follow Hull Ionians and Worthing through the trapdoor.

To be absolutely certain of avoiding the drop, Tynedale need to score just two points – but the permutations are endless.

They could still afford to lose if neighbours Blaydon do them a favour by beating fourth bottom Loughborough down in Leicestershire.

Cinderford, a point behind Tynedale, have a tough game away to second placed Rosslyn Park, but they do have a game in hand.

So too do Wharfedale, who go to already doomed Worthing, so should be safe.

Henley, currently occupying the final drop spot, stand on 59 points, four behind Tynedale, but they will be no pushovers.

Tynedale’s chairman of senior rugby John Shotton said this week: “They will be fighting for their lives, the same as us, an d it would be great if we could get a really big crowd to cheer us on.”

Tynedale will be boosted by the return to the pack of line-out specialist Andy Buist, whose season appeared to be over after a neck injury.

Henley have a big pack of forwards, who have been a match for most opposing eights this season.

Despite losing 42-22 at Fylde three weeks ago, they were only trailing 25-22 with 15 minutes to play before conceding three late tries.

The Hawks have lost 11 of their 14 away games, including the last five on the belt.

Their leading points scorer is fly half James Comben on 209, comprising nine tries, 28 conversions and 36 penalties.

Tynedale will need to make a more positive start to the game than they did in their last two homes games.

So far this season, Tynedale have scored 99 tries and conceded 117, with only relegated Hull Ionians and Worthing Raiders having a worse defensive record.

The game kicks off at 3pm.