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Two out of three as Blues and Pats clash in table-topper

Early kick-off at Monks Lane and possible pitch switch

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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Two out of three as Blues and Pats clash in table-topper

Toby Thorne - ready for Pats clash

NEWBURY BLUES will make an earlier start when they bid to hand Old Patesians some of their own medicine at Monks Lane on Saturday.

The Cheltenham side hauled Maidenhead off the top of the table when beating them 29-27 last week and now Blues, who had previously given Maids their first defeat of the campaign, bid to do the same.

Saturday’s match has already been brought forward to a 2.15pm kick-off and it may yet be moved ‘up the hill’ to one of the surrounding pitches at Monks Lane if the main pitch does not dry out sufficiently following this week’s rain.

Similar moves last season proved to be successful for Blues, but they face a real test at the hands of Patesians, relegated last season from National Three South West and making a real effort to bounce straight back.

“I think they won 10 games last season and were still relegated,” said Blues head coach Lee Goodall.

“We are going to get teams who will bne forward dominated in the conditions we have now,” he said, “and we can expect that this week.

“We are in this three-way dogfight for two positions,” he added, “They come to us buoyed by their win last week and will be looking to make it a double.”

Blues major doubt concerns skipper Dan Thorne, who sustained an ankle injury in last week’s 19-19 draw at Old Centralians.

South West One East - leading positions

Old Patesians P 10 W 9 D 0 L 1 F 279 A 145 Pts 42

Maidenhead P 10 W 8 D 0 L 2 F 328 A 192 Pts 41

Newbury Blues P 10 A 7 D 1 L 2 F 292 A 159 Pts 38

Royal Wootton Bassett P 10 W 7 D 0 L 3 F 262 A 146 Pts 33

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