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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Will Tynedale be able to roar back against Tigers?

AFTER a week off to absorb the derby defeat to Blaydon, Tynedale return to action tomorrow seeking their first double of the season.

They go down to Manchester to take on Sedgley Park Tigers, who they defeated 30-10 at Corbridge back in September.

The Tigers currently occupy the third relegation spot in National League Division One, but are just 12 points behind fourth bottom Tynedale, with a game in hand.

With their pre-Christmas game at Macclesfield postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, the Tigers will be raring to go after a three week break and looking to follow up a hard-fought 19-17 victory over Coventry.

Despite being dominated in the scrums and line-outs that day and conceding two penalty tries, the boot of fly-half, Steve Collins came to the rescue with four penalties and a conversion. That win ended a nightmare run for the Greater Manchester outfit following eight consecutive defeats, including a record 70-14 thrashing at Loughborough Students.

Although they have lost all eight away games, Sedgley Park have proved to be a much tougher nut to crack at their Park Lane ground just outside Bury, with four wins from seven.

They started off the season in good form with home wins over Macclesfield (39-17), Richmond (37-17) and Blackheath (40-22) before things went pear-shaped with home defeats to Wharfedale, Blaydon and Cinderford.

They are the lowest try scorers in the league with 33 (21 home and 12 away) compared to Tynedale's impressive tally of 61, and have conceded 62 tries (19 home and 43 away).

Like most teams in the league, Sedgley Park have the luxury of floodlights and so it will be a lot easier for the players to see the ball in the second half than it was at Corbridge in their last outing. The game kicks off at 2.30pm.

Tynedale’s first home game of the new year sees them take on league leaders Ealing Trailfinders on January 12.

Meanwhile, Ponteland start the New Year with a tough home game against Durham and Northumberland (D&N) League One leaders Alnwick.

Their visitors have won all but one of their 14 games this year and lead the chasing pack by seven points - their total of 60 nearly double that of seventh placed Pont’s 36.

Unsurprisingly, the table toppers are the division’s leading scorers and have scored a total of 416 points, including those racked up in the reverse fixture when Alnwick secured a 29-7 victory. Pont will go into the game on the back of a first win in four as they defeated Medicals 29-18.

A fourth D&N II win on the bounce is on the cards for a resurgent Prudhoe & Stocksfield when they travel to fifth placed North Shields.

Excellent performances in their latest outings have seen P&S move from the bottom two for the first time this season courtesy of three consecutive successes.

Shields will pose a tough challenge to Prudhoe, victors by 18-5 when the teams met at Stocksfield earlier in the season.