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Home > News > Westoe lose another weekend's rugby
Your News Westoe lose another weekend's rugby

AN unexpected twist means that table-topping Westoe will again be without a fixture on Saturday (Jan 17).

After last weeks North One game at Middlesbrough was postponed because of a frozen pitch the clubs agreed it should be played tomorrow - then a vacant date for both.

But now the Teessiders must instead play an EDF Energy Intermediate Cup fourth round tie with Sheffield Tigers who beat Walsall in a rescheduled mid-week clash under lights.

Which means that Westoe will have been idle for five weeks when league opponents Stockport come to town next Saturday, their last outing being just before Christmas when they leap-frogged over Hull into the top spot by convincingly beating them 40-19 at Wood Terrace.

That is obviously frustrating for Gareth Nesbits men who are anxious to get back down to the rigorous business of striving to safeguard their position over the remaining ten matches which, as champions, would mean automatic elevation into the ranks of National Three.

Instead, there will be tough training sessions - beginning tomorrow - in a bid to ensure match fitness and so hopefully enable the squad to maintain the momentum that has brought them eleven victories in the 12 games so far.

Nesbit said: No amount of training can compensate for missing a game and so it is especially regrettable that we lost our National Trophy match at Broadstreet as, otherwise, we would have had a cup match to better prepare us for the resumption of the league programme.

But there is nothing we can do about it and so we must just make the best of the situation. The important factor is the players attitude and how much they want the league crown. And Im pretty sure I know the answers to that.

Ive already said that we all must be mentally tough and ruthless, which means not letting a minor inconvenience like this disturb us.

Nes is a firm believer that to achieve success on the field, a team needs harmony off it.

In that respect the Dunes Adventure Island-sponsored Shieldsmen are fortunate that so many of the squad have progressed through the clubs junior ranks - to an extent most unusual at this level - which has engendered friendship and loyalty.

As an illustration, eleven of the 18-strong squad named for last weeks aborted game were home-grown and hooker Nigel Douglas, married and settled in the town, is now a well established part of the scene.

Said Nesbit: Before we recruit from outside we take stock of whether a player is likely to fit in with the rest of the team in the dressing room and socially. If we have any reason to doubt that, we leave well alone.

So far, during the five seasons I have been captain, we have been fortunate in our choices.

*Just a reminder that the Second XVs Candy League match against visitors Tynedale is being sponsored by the Senators in memory of Ken Hudson when a donation to the Macmillan Nurses will be presented to his widow Angela. His friends and former teammates are urged to attend.

*The Thirds entertain Blaydon at Oakleigh Gardens while the Fourths and Colts are both away from home, respectively at Ryton and Carlisle.

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