The challenges facing Oundle and Corby in Midlands Four East (South) this weekend are as tough as it can get.
It is a home game with leaders Bedford Swifts for the Eagles while Corby are on the road to take on second-placed Long Buckby.
On the surface they may look like daunting prospects but both clubs go into their clashes in decent spirits.
Oundle have won five league matches in a row – aided by a walkover victory against Aylestone Athletic last weekend – and have suffered just a single reverse all season.
That came at home to Long Buckby in September. Perhaps not the best of omens for Corby.
But their neighbours’ recent antics can give them optimism as the first of their three triumphs so far came against...Bedford Swifts.
That result should in turn give Corby the belief, despite a 22-12 loss to lowly Kempston last time out, to put in a strong performance on their away day.
Kettering fronted up to the daunting task of stopping the Peterborough Lions juggernaut but ultimately could not match their faultless visitors.
The Blues controlled the opening passages and led through a Joe Daniel penalty.
However, two tries in each half put the Lions in the ascendancy but, even though Kettering managed a late try from Matt Nield, head coach Doug Bridgeman did not feel the 25-8 outcome did ‘justice to a brave Blues effort’.
A convincing win over Olney last time out sees Wellingborough head over the county boundary into Leicestershire this weekend in good spirits.
But what they will face at Midlands Two East (South) opponents Market Harborough is perhaps unknown.
Their hosts have been inconsistent all season and suffered a 31-9 loss at the hands of their local rivals Lutterworth last weekend – a performance their coach suggested fell well below the demanded standards.
Boro on the other hand were far too strong for mid-table Olney running in five tries – through Luke Gardiner (2), Tom Bryan, Ryan Mackie and Kyle Danns – in a 34-3 success.
Rushden & Higham – who face Wellingborough next weekend – will be hoping to match their neighbours’ achievement on Saturday as they travel to Olney keen to claim a third win of the campaign and put last week’s loss to Oadby Wyggs behind them.
The run of difficult games continues for Stewarts & Lloyds continues in Midlands Three.
Having seen off Vipers last weekend they have the task of taking on second-placed Stockwood Park – never a simple assignment – in a bid to return to the top two.