4:00pm Thursday 11th April 2013
By Gordon Brown
In terms of who joins Cambridge and Sedgley Park in the departure lounge from SSE National League One, a mathematician will tell you that tomorrow's match between Wharfedale and Macclesfield will decide nothing.
But with respectively only four and three matches left to play, it will seem like it.
The visitors already have a four-point lead over Wharfedale and a much superior win rate, so finishing the season level on points won’t be good enough for the Greens.
If they lose this match it will be out of their hands, and they will have to rely on Macclesfield slipping up elsewhere.
Macclesfield did well in their first season in the division, finishing in sixth place, but their second season has been very much tougher.
At Christmas, they looked dead and gone, particularly after suffering a five-point penalty for fielding an unregistered player.
Since then, though, they have been one of the division’s form teams, winning eight out of their last ten matches, although last Saturday they came a dreadful cropper, conceding nine tries at home to Esher.
Wharfedale will have to play the remainder of the season without the services of the prolific Dan Solomi, who sustained a broken hand last week at Rosslyn Park, adding another name to the season’s record injury list.
The selectors are, however, able to welcome back three players who have missed the last few weeks through injury.
Richard Brown returns to the engine room, with Alastair Allen at blind-side flanker and Joe Donkin returning to outside centre.
Adam Whaites moves to the wing to give Christian Georgiou the licence of the full-back shirt. Chris Howick comes in at open-side flanker.
Wharfedale: Christian Georgiou; Lloyd Davies, Joe Donkin, Luke Gray, Adam Whaites; Tom Barrett, Philip Woodhead; Chris Steele (c), Steve Graham, Mark Tampin, Richard Brown, Richard Rhodes, Alastair Allen, Chris Howick, Aaron Myers. Replacements: Adam Howard, Ian Larkin, Jim Mason, Tom Wareing, James Gough.
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