Oundle can take a huge step towards promotion

Action from S&L's win over Vipers last weekend
Action from S&L's win over Vipers last weekend
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Oundle are preparing themselves for a huge encounter with promotion rivals Bedford Swifts tomorrow.

The Eagles currently sit fourth in Midlands Four East (South), three points behind and with a game in hand on the their opponents.

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-203025001

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-203025001

It is a hugely important game in the context of their season.

But not, insists coach Peter Croot, make or break.

“If we win against Swifts we’re obviously in a very good position,” he said.

“It will make a massive difference to the last few weeks.

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-203015001

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-203015001

“But if it goes the other way they still have to play Thorney and St Neots.

“They are tough games so there is a lot of work still to be done.

“It’s nice to have things in our own control.

“Normally at this time of year we are waiting for others to slip up.

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-202954001

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-202954001

“We have only lost to Long Buckby – and we shouldn’t have lost one of those.

“I had to take a couple of players off because they were injured and when I spoke to their coach afterwards he asked why I had done it because it changed the game.

“I told him I had to – but it cost us.

Croot also admitted that promotion would give them the chance of such encounters on a more regular basis.

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-202943001

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-202943001

“It will be nice to up so we can play in these kind of games every week,” he added.

“It is not meant to be disrespectful to other clubs because they are improving all the time.

“You only have to look at the seasons that Stamford College, Bourne and even Corby are having. “The division is getting stronger but there are still some games which can be easier than you might want.

“At the level above you are getting this kind of intensity every week.”

“And they obviously came close to doing us a favour.”

Elsewhere, if fellow promotion contenders Wellingborough had been hoping for fortune to smile on them last week it instead returned a sneer.

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-203105001

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-203105001

They may have expected previously unbeaten Midlands Two East (South) leaders Leighton Buzzard to do them a favour in their promotion hunt and beat second-placed Newbold-on-Avon.

Instead the Warwickshire club sent the visitors on their homeward journey having inflicted a 28-24 defeat.

Boro did their bit, though, as they collected a 30-16 at Olney.

They also got the four-try bonus point despite producing a performance with too many errors.

Things continue to look bleak for Rushden & Higham in the same division as they went down 45-8 at Oadby Wyggestonians.

Kettering brought some balance to their season as they made it 10 wins and 10 losses from their 20 Midlands One East matches.

They put together one of their best second-half displays this term as Huntingdon & District were beaten 41-19. Tries came from Joe Newman (2), James Taylor, Chris Chapman and Damien Conyard.

Stewarts & Lloyds edged a vital victory from their home encounter with promotion rivals Vipers.

The men in black put themselves in pole position for the all-important second spot as they snuck in front of their opponents 16-15.

It was equally close for their town neighbours in Midlands Four East (South) as Corby won it with the last kick of the game against Kempston.

Manager Ricky Egan said: “This certainly wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination and to be honest we were lucky to have got our first try.

“But as far as dramatic games go this has to be up there.”

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-202922001

Rugby Action: Corby: Rugby action, S&L v Vipers''Saturday March 1 2014 NNL-140103-202922001