Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Play-Offs the Target after Last Season's Heartbreak

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Play-Offs the Target after Last Season's Heartbreak

Article excerpt

GUISBOROUGH coach Trevor Edwards has challenged his side to end their awayday hoodoo at Hartlepool Rovers tomorrow as the league season gets underway.

The team came within seconds of a glorious promotion to North One East last season but suffered late heartbreak in the play-off final showdown at Dinnington. Conceding a try in the eighth minute of added time at the end of the 80 minutes, Guisborough went down 34-20 in extra-time and have faced a summer of reflection ahead of the new campaign.

Edwards admitted it has been difficult to build his team back up again - but insists Guisborough are now ready to launch another promotion assault in Durham and North One.

"It's been difficult because we set our sights on promotion last season and we thought we had it won", Edwards said.

"We are all now determined to go one better than last season and get promotion. "Hartlepool Rovers has always been a bit of a bogey ground for us in recent years. We tend to beat them quite easily at home and struggle away, and over the years we've had some strange decisions go against us there. "I believe we've got a strong team this year. I think how we do will depend on the first few games and we'll be looking to hit the ground running.

"Our target is promotion and it would be great if we didn't have to go through the play-offs again. We're confi-dent and can't wait to get going."

Edwards revealed Guisborough are in good shape ahead of the new campaign having kept hold of the majority of last season's squad, while adding a few fresh faces to add renewed impetus.

The Priorymen have enjoyed a good pre-season, but suffered defeat in the Yorkshire County Shield last Saturday when they were beaten 20-12 by Old Brodleians.

The Guisborough staff and players alike were left frustrated with a number of refereeing decisions - and Edwards believes his side have received a raw deal from offi-cials in recent times. …

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