Written by Chris Bentley
It certainly wasn’t in the grand plan at the beginning of the season but there is no doubt Plymouth Albion face a must win game this weekend as they visit Tonbridge Juddians. Having lost their last 7 games, the London based club have found life tough in their debut National One season. Indeed, a solitary win against Sale and draw with Bishops Stortford are their only positive results of the term.
Nonetheless, Juddians are only five points in arrears as they do like to score and have been picking up a healthy number of bonus points. Just last weekend, they scored four tries and finished within seven of Darlington Mowden Park. Additionally, they boast a most impressive second row partnership of Toby Freeman and Perry Parker who have extensive experience at the highest tier and make them a team not to underestimate.
Anything beyond a win would plunge Albion into a very difficult position and the word ‘dogfight’ comes into the equation. A victory and the home games with fellow strugglers Leeds and Darlington in the coming weeks would set the team up for a run towards the mid table.
Fortunately for the Ocean Cities finest, the team is bolstered by the returning Chiefs contingent as Max Norey, Danny Southworth and Shea Cornish return to the squad. They will be joined by Ed Scragg who will be expected to shore up the lineout that creaked last weekend.
The most interesting selection this week has to be the return of former club captain Cameron Setter who joins on loan from Ivybridge as cover for Henry Clement who suffered a hamstring injury last week. Speaking of the shock inclusion, Damian Welch said “It’s great to welcome Cam back to answer the call, he looked great in training and I’m looking forward to him picking up where he left off”
Beyond the returning Setter, the team has a settled look aside from Conor Eastgate moving to the inside centre position and Welch added “We are looking forward to getting back in the saddle this weekend after a disappointing day against Cambridge. We have reassessed the strengths and weaknesses in our performance and hope to put a lot of what we see as our game onto the pitch this weekend. Tonbridge will be a good test of our ability to put this into place”
Tonbridge Juddians v Plymouth Albion 2 pm