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Rugby: Injury-hit Douglas visit Birkenhead Park

Vagabonds Ladies also on the road at Littleborough

Report by Dave Christian:

 

Douglas versus Birkenhead Park usually provides entertainment, and the February encounter at Port-e-Chee was no exception. Park escaped with the points as Douglas were on a scoring march that faltered just at the last and they lost 20-23.  

 

At Birkenhead on Saturday, if Douglas are firing on all cylinders, they have the firepower to upset the odds. Wide of the heavyweights up front, Harry Swayne has the weaponry outside him, and in Kyle Martin on the wing, gas to spare. On a few occasions, but not nearly enough, Martin with early ball and a sniff of space has skinned his opposite number with apparent ease. With Aidan O’Shea returned to midfield where he was influential last week, and if Harry Hewson is available, the mix is a healthy one. Will Cain’s injury has probably pitched Jack Shimmin in at the deep end, but once he asserts himself in attack and defence he’ll be a valuable asset. With five league fixtures left to play this season and pitches firming up.

 

Douglas however continue to suffer with a  crippling injury list and facing a side which has won 14 times from 21 outings is going to be tough. Any points at all brought back on Saturday will be a bonus. Birkenhead do however have a meagre points difference of +27  which  suggests some vulnerability in defence and perhaps just a glimmer of hope.

 

 

Vagabonds Ladies away at Littleborough

 

In Womens NC1 North West Vagabonds travel to Littleborough for their final game of the season. There is the matter of a postponed game against Preston Grasshoppers but as Vagas travelled and the game was snowed off, there’s no additional flight money available and the game affects neither promotion nor relegation, it will simply remain unplayed.

 

Littleborough are currently at the foot of the table. They visited Vagabonds very recently though and put on a creditable show. Vagas won 27-20 but the Rochdale side were in the game all the way to the end. Their record however shows  they’ve lost 7 from 7 and while they do have games in hand, they’re unlikely to move too far from the bottom.

 

Vagas “big guns” were all on form last week. Corrina Daly, Jules Harrison and Lauren Ellison were all mentioned in dispatches and if they’re available to travel they’ll form the beating heart of the Vagas team which should take the honours.

 

 

Ravenscroft Manx Plate rugby action

 

There is one game in the Ravenscroft Manx Plate where Emerging Nomads face Vagabonds Hornets at Ballafletcher.

 

The Southerners will be at full stretch with their first team also playing and its likely that Vagas Hornets will take maximum points here to maintain their position at the head of the field.

 

Meanwhile, the other fixture due to take place this weekend was Ramsey B vs Western Vikings at Mooragh Park - however this has now been postponed due to Covid-19 affecting availability.

 

**

 

Fixtures 26 March

North 1 West

Birkenhead Park v Douglas @ Birkenhead Park

 

Womens NC1 North West

Littleborough v Vagabonds @ Littleborough

 

Ravenscroft Manx Plate

Ramsey B P-P Western Vikings

Vagabonds Hornets v Emerging Nomads @ Ballafletcher ko 2.15pm

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