Vagabonds host New Brighton, Vagas Ladies to start season at Leigh
Report by Dave Christian:
Lancaster’s Vale make the trip to Port-e-Chee this weekend in Regional 2 North West with Douglas winless from three outings and missing a few players through injury. Simon Hoddinnot, Shay Waterworth, Harry Hewson and Blake Snell are all on the sick list for Douglas however the Port-e-Chee outfit are able to maintain some consistency in team selection which as we know, tends to drive up performances and results the longer it continues. Guy Wood has been in great nick for Douglas despite their results and they’ll be looking for a big performance from him.
Vagabonds host New Brighton at Ballafletcher
Vagas have their first home game of the season this weekend when New Brighton come to town and due to travel arrangements have an early kick off at 1.00pm.
Vagas lost away at Bury last week but will be encouraged by new Brighton’s defeat against Hoylake. Vagas lost there too by a similar scoreline and will fancy their chances at home. They name much the same side that travelled last week with the exceptions of Jack Caine at prop. He’s replaced by Mitch Wells and Ollie Swindlehurst gets a second row start. There’s also a change on the wing with youngster Cal Murray getting a start.
Vagas Ladies head to Leigh
Vagas Ladies get their season underway with a trip to Leigh. New Signing Ella Goodwin-Jones gets her first start at hooker with Maisie Murray dropping to second row. Everyone else is pretty much as last season although the team will be glad to see Corrina Daly return to number eight duties and skipper Lauren Ellison also back to full fitness at ten.
Week off for Ravenscroft Manx Shield
This weekend is a scheduled rest week in the Ravenscroft Manx Shield with some of the players getting a well earned break. All apart from Ramsey’s first team that is who travel to Caldy to play the championship outfit’s third team as a warn up ahead of the Cheshire Bowl competition on 1st October.
Officials at Ramsey had been talking to Cheshire RFU’s Colin Free over the summer and looking at alternatives to the very expensive English Clubs Championship and Colin suggested his own club Caldy may be able to do something. Playing in the Manx Shield both Ramsey and Southern Nomads have been shuffling their first and second teams to try and level the competition for the other sides involved and with the step up to the Cheshire Plate requiring full first teams, a friendly fixture like this one is ideal.
There are however some selection headaches for skipper Matt Meechan. Last year’s player of the year Dan Richmond is not available for the Cheshire matches so the nine jersey is up for grabs. Youngster Nathan Robson looks favourite as he can cover goal kicking duties too after stand off Tom Moffatt picked up a knee injury last Saturday. Conor Goodall was impressive at ten last week and may have done enough to get a start.**
Fixtures (24 September)
Regional 2 North West
Douglas v Vale of Lune @ Port-e-Chee ko 3.00pm
Counties 3 ADM Lancs/Cheshire
Vagabonds v New Brighton @ Ballafletcher ko 1.00pm
Womens NC 1 North West
Leigh v Vagabonds @ Leigh ko 2.15pm
Caldy 3XV v Ramsey @ Caldy ko 2.30pm