Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Regional Weekend Preview

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Regional Weekend Preview

Article excerpt

AFTER losing their unbeaten National Two home record against Manchester, Blaydon need to bounce back immediately and pick up dropped points on the road at Henley this weekend.

Henley finished third last year but have made a bad start to this season and lie just below the Crow Trees side in the division, having played a game less.

Blaydon have injury problems with James Isaacson, Dave Guthrie, Paul Clark, Andy Wright, Duncan Brown, Nick Gandy and Cameron Johnston all out, while Dave Whitehead is doubtful. Centre Ben Mercer is in line to make his debut at centre.

Tynedale bosses have been forced to leave their team selection until the eve of their home clash with Leicester Lions this weekend due to the team's mounting list of absentees, which sees almost a full first team unavailable through injury or other commitments.

William Massey, Jack Smales, Phil Belgian, Ross Samson, Micky Young, Jamie Murray, Grant Rastall, Graeme MacGilchrist, Douglas Jupp, Gavin Beasley, Jamie Harrison Ben Marshall, Jack Harrison and Ben Duncan will not be playing for the team this weekend.

Despite all the problems, the club are still top of National Three North and remain unbeaten in their five games, a tribute to the quality and depth of the club's squad. And chairman John Shotton believes a little adversity now bodes well for the future, with fringe players shining every week, meaning there will be competition for places when everyone is finally available for selection.

Alnwick make one change for their Durham/Northumberland One clash at Horden. Stu Archer is back at No 8 after injury to replace Christy Mould in a team chosen on the first 50 minutes of last week's match rather than last 30 - a game which saw Gosforth win in the last minute and was a harsh lesson in keeping focused for the full 80 minutes.

Elsewhere in North One, Gosforth will be playing an historic first game on their synthetic Druid Park pitch when Billingham visit. …

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