Blues can climb while others focus on the cups

Rushden & Higham are in Intermediate Cup action this weekend against Kesteven

Rushden & Higham are in Intermediate Cup action this weekend against Kesteven

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Kettering will aim to edge themselves towards the top half of Midlands One East when they face strugglers Coalville tomorrow.

They entertain their Leicestershire opponents hoping to inflict more pain on a side who have lost their last five league matches.

Indeed Coalville’s only success so far this year came on the opening day of the season when they beat bottom-of-the-table Peterborough.

A repeat of their last meeting - when the Blues won 57-0 - in January of last year would be most welcome.

The rest of the action this weekend is in knockout competition.

Rushden & Higham will be hoping for some respite from their troubled league campaign when they host Kesteven in the Intermediate Cup.

The Lincolnshire side have themselves had troubles in having collected just a solitary win in Midlands Two East (North) and they currently sit just one point above bottom spot.

Stewarts & Lloyds also have Lincolnshire opposition in their Senior Vase encounter.

Their second round clash takes them to Sleaford which, in contrast to Rushden’s tie, is a battle between two in-form sides.

S&L currently top Midlands Three East (South) while their hosts have won three and drawn one of their matches in the equivalent north section.

Corby manager Ricky Egan is hoping his men can relieve some of their frustration when they take on Keyworth in the Junior Vase.

They lost 38-21 at Aylestone Athletic last weekend and Egan was again disappointed to have a squad down to its smallest numbers.

“Without any disrespect to Aylestone its one of the games we have to try to target for points,” Egan said.

“Therefore, I get really frustrated when we attend these matches at nowhere near full strength.

“Due to call offs and (lack of) player availability we went to this game with the bare bones, to the point where I had to name myself on the subs bench.

“This game was there for us. We gave a good account of ourselves.

“However, not being able to replace players who were justifiably tired towards the end of the game cost us another two tries.”

There will be no game and no Vase interest this year for Oundle, however.

They have had to withdraw from their game at Harbury.

Head coach Peter Croot told the competition of the club’s intention to pull out saying: “An increasing injury list, player unavailability and an earlier kick-off all conspire to mean that I cannot field a 15 that would warrant a full fixture.”