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Malton & Norton strive to make home guard count
Having played three of their first four matches away from home, and having lost them all, head coach Chris Creber and his men return to The Gannock looking to grab their second victory of the season.
Malt’s solitary win came on their own patch against derby rivals Pocklington but, in a league where most teams tend not to fare as well on their travels, the reverses have not caused too much concern at the Ryedale club.
Bill Laidler, club secretary, said: “We could do with a win but we have had three of our four games away from home. It was a great game at Beverley last week and we were very unfortunate not to get something out of it.
“Morley haven’t been playing that well. Even though they have won three out of four, they have played three at home.”
Henry Newitt is still unavailable with an injured ankle while Ryan Lonsdale could return next week following time in Australia. Malton are expected to be unchanged from the side that lost 26-14 at Beverley.
Pocklington return to Percy Road for a North One East encounter with Cleckheaton. The two clubs were keen rivals as they challenged each other for league titles in the 1990s, but they have not met since the 2000/01 season.
Pocklington have selected a 39-man squad for the first XV at home to Cleckheaton and Panthers at Bridlington and were to finalise their line-ups after training later this week.
They lost a quartet of players to training injuries last week, but expect competition for places to be keen as a couple of players are on the mend, plus several more put their hand up with big performances in the Panthers’ 49-0 win over Hull Ionians last weekend.
Selby scored a half century last weekend, but coach Richard Nicholson says the standards at Sandhill Lane are now so high some of the players weren’t satisfied with their efforts — something that bodes well for the rest of the Yorkshire Two campaign.
“They came off the field a little frustrated because they missed a few opportunities,” he said of the club’s 57-12 win against Roundhegians.
“We can’t complain with the start we have had but we need to keep going week after week.”
The victory was Selby’s fourth straight win and Nicholson’s unbeaten side travel to Moortown in what are likely to be quite different conditions from the dry, hot Saturday that greeted his team a week ago.
“We do have a bit of flexibility,” added Nicholson on how his team would adapt to a damp, muddy pitch. “We are not just one-dimensional. It will require a bit of a rethink and refocusing on the way we play the game.
“You expect this coming into this time of year and we have got different plans depending on the conditions.”
Rob Triffit is unavailable for the trip to Leeds and Matthew Ward will be in the second row with Ben Booth coming in at number eight.
York travel to Yorkshire One leaders Huddersfield YCMA on the back of a strong performance against North Ribblesdale.
But YMCA, who have been averaging four tries a game, promise to be a much sterner test for head coach Sean Bass and his men. York’s squad has a settled look with only Joe Maud forcing his way into the line up following a powerful game at Ripon for the seconds.
York RI, still looking for their first win of the season in Yorkshire Three and beaten 33-0 at Northallerton last time out, are at Thornensians.