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Old Grovians bidding to take giant stride towards promotion
Old Grovians could take a giant stride towards promotion from SSE Yorkshire Division Four if the leaders can win at second-placed Old Otliensians on Saturday.
Otliensians are the only team to defeat Grovians this season, turning them over 21-0 in November, but they are still seven points behind with four matches to go and have tough trips to Ossett and Harrogate Pythons in the offing.
Old Grovians’ director of rugby Martin Whitcombe said: “It’s another game on the road for us, for them it’s a must-win game to sustain their promotion challenge.
“The most important thing is to win the game. We will give Otliensians the same respect we give every other team we play."
The Woodhouse Grove setback earlier in the season was Grovians' first home defeat for 15 months but they have responded well since, winning all nine games, and seven of them with a bonus point.
Just as impressive during that period has been their formidable defence. Only three of those nine opponents have crossed the try-line - something Mosborough weren't able to do last weekend, a game that Whitcombe says was the perfect preparation for this top-of-the-table clash.
He said: "Our last game against Mosborough was a hard-fought victory.
“We had to fight for every point we took – it stands us in good stead for this week’s challenge.”
That challenge is a mouth-watering prospect which pits the top two scoring sides in the division against each other in a game where the stakes are high.
November's win is a source of confidence for Old Otliensians. That day they replaced Old Grovians as the leaders - something that can't happen on Saturday - but if Old Grovians make it ten wins in a row, not only will they avenge that defeat but also deliver a blow in the promotion race from which Old Otliensians may not recover.
Old Grovians (at Old Otliensians) from: C Blackhall, M Worrall, C Cockshott, D Roberts, D Gullick, R Brown, T Dalton, B Williams, H Cody-Owen, M Lister, D Foster, S Robinson, T Whitehead, J Feeney, A Cadman, A Lesur, A Weaving, J Bradley, J Sowden, R Hopkinson, B Magee, D Hogg, J Hinchliffe, B Brown, D Copsey, A Griffin, L Downes.