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Depleted Malton & Norton to lock horns with rivals Pocklington
The North One East clash, staged at Percy Road, looks to be a mis-match on paper as an injury-ravaged Malton take on a side which has won every game and are second in the league table.
Malton used their 37th different player of the campaign, in only six games, when their depleted ranks were beaten 52-5 by Huddersfield YMCA.
And the injury crisis shows little sign of abating quickly with only Ali Coe and George Harrison likely to be restored to the line-up after shaking off knocks and Henry Newitt described as 50-50.
Club spokesman Bill Laidler said: “We are struggling badly. The side we are turning out is virtually all second team and junior players and they do quite well for the first half an hour.
“But then it all falls apart. That’s down to fitness and experience, and we are expecting a struggle against Pocklington this week.
“They weren’t a bad side last season. They were very straightforward and very good and they have kicked on this year.”
Asked what would be a good result given Malton’s concerns, Laidler added: “Obviously a pleasing result would be a win but we’d like to get something out of the game. There is plenty of spirit and talent in the side. They are just a year or two before their time.
“These injuries are having a knock-on effect throughout the club. The second team are giving up too many players so they are struggling and the same for the third team and so on.”
Pocklington, meanwhile, are expecting a tough game despite their better start to the season.
The East Yorkshire side edged the corresponding game 12 months ago, winning a cliffhanger 14-12.
They name a squad of 19 which they will trim after a couple of players have fitness tests.
Former Driffield three-quarter Mark Perkins and Colts forward Joe Brown are brought into the squad.
Selby, rapidly getting the hang of life in Yorkshire One, travel to Ilkley looking for a win which would continue their surge up the table.
Victors over Heath 35-20 last weekend, the Swans are expecting a tough battle in the scrum.
Head coach Richard Nicholson said: “As a player, I can’t remember ever winning up there so, hopefully, this will be a first. We are in good spirits and we have as strong a squad as possible.
“There are no major injuries and hopefully we can do enough to win tomorrow.
“It’s like playing in the Twickenham final last season every week – when Drybrook had a huge set of forwards.
“The lads have risen to the challenge. They are doing very well and there has been no lack of effort. We have to play to our strengths and these players have no history or worries.
“They are not scared of anyone.”
York, who slipped up for the first time this season when losing 23-20 to Doncaster Phoenix at Clifton Park, will look to resurrect their Yorkshire One ambitions when they go to Wath Upon Dearne.
York RI, who went down narrowly to Wetherby in a 40-35 defeat, go to Hornsea in Yorkshire Four.
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