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Blues in winner-takes-all promotion battle

Second versus third battle could tip the play-off balance

Malcolm Howe



Blues in winner-takes-all promotion battle

Blues ready for Old Patesians shwodown

NEWBURY BLUES face a major ruck when they go to Old Patesians on Saturday in a game that could make or break their South West One East promotion hopes.

With Maidenhead now odds-on favourites to claim the title after beating both of their rivals in recent weeks, the main target now is to secure second place and an end of season play-off, almost certainly with Clevedon.

“Effectively it is winner takes all,” said Blues head coach Lee Goodall. “Ultimately we need to get five points and restrict them, ideally to none.”

Blues currently trail Old Patesians by four points with four matches to go, and they go on to play Oxford Harlequins at home, Reading away and Reading Abbey at home on April 1, 8 and 22 respectively. Old Patesians’ dates are with Old Centralians away and Witney and Oxford Harlequins at home.

“Even if we do the job on Saturday,” said Goodall, “it’s a showdown every week for the next three games and it’s whoever blinks first.”

Blues are without the suspended Josh Winfield and winger Mike Walker, but otherwise expect to be at full strength for the game, which kicks off at the Everest Road ground at 2pm.

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