End result all that matters to high-flying Tynedale

Winning any way you can is the order of the day as National Three North's promotion chase intensifies.

Winning any way you can is the order of the day as National Three North's promotion chase intensifies.

The league's great entertainers - Tynedale - face Hull Ionians on Saturday, with substance over style the key to their drive towards National Two.

The Corbridge men have scored the most points in the league, helped greatly by the 102-0 Orrell drubbing two weeks ago, and only Fylde have conceded fewer.

But no-one at Tynedale Park is getting carried away with the rich vein of form that has seen them lose just once in 15 league games.

Chairman of rugby John Shotton said the recent record is all very well, but means nothing if, come the end of the season, there is no end-result.

He said: "Moving from week-to-week at the moment the focus is as much on what is in front of us and little else.

"Obviously, that can get tricky and minds can stray, but that is the challenge facing us. We've just got to look after ourselves and take it from there.

"It's another tricky game, and the wins have got to keep coming - basically any way we can get them."

Blaydon are the third top points-scorer and sit second in the league and were it not for a mid-season dip in form, they might still have been top.

But no-one at the club is looking backwards. The Crow Trees men are aiming to fire themselves back into the mix as quickly as possible, starting with a win over Morley at home on Saturday.

Club secretary Jim Huxley said a confident mood has been restored after two wins on the bounce has helped dull the memory of that 51-36 loss at Rugby Lions.

He said: "Things are hopefully looking up a bit now after a difficult few weeks, and everyone is keen to kick on and keep pushing all the way.

"Of course we want to get back to the top of the league, but we know what we have to do to achieve that.

"We need to keep plugging away and hope that Tynedale slip up somewhere between now and the end of the campaign.

"You never know what's round the corner, and as long as we keep getting the wins then the pressure grows week by week.

"It's going to be a really tight run-in now."

Meanwhile, in North One Westoe entertain Altrincham Kersal with Percy Park hosting Morpeth in North Two East.

In Durham/Northumberland One Alnwick take on Billingham, North Shields travel to Ponteland, while Gosforth are away at Redcar, Gateshead at Ryton and Northern at Sunderland.

And Novocastrians continue their late promotion push, travelling to Yarm in Durham/Northumberland Two.

TYNEDALE (home, Hull Ionians): Will Massey; Cameron Johnston; Jack Harrison; Phil Belgian; Mike Woodhouse; Jake White; Robin Holroyd; Ben Duncan; Gavin Beasley; Ross Samson; Douglas Jupp; Peter Southern; Dan Herdman; Rob Vickers; Aaron Charlton; Graeme Smith; Paul Scott; Ben Marshall; Stuart Johnson; Andrew Murray; Matthew Fieldhouse; Jamie Murray; Grant Rastall; Graeme MacGilchrist.

NOVOS (away, Yarm): R Mitchell; M Baker; S Greetham; A Borthwick; V Ali; C Fife; Mark Williamson; M Finlay; P Douthwaite; R Clarke; N Cotterill; S Kelleher; M Atkinson; B Merrett; D Tate. Subs: R Moat; E Yuill; J Beattie.

ALNWICK (home, Billingham): A Alexander; A Shell; I Gray; R Swan; J Snaith; S Taylor; R Ord; A Johnson; G Hodgson; M Milburn; J Lamb; D Gray; D Smith; R Dunlop; S Archer. Subs: A Armstrong; R Neil; R Ord.

NORTH SHIELDS (away Ponteland): J Thompson; I Swinbank; C Newcombe; L Austin; C Spedding; P Young; M Taylor; A Cockburn; G Irving; M James; B Elliott; J Kenny; A Leitch; A Knowles; A Burrows. Subs: K Moat; L Boldon.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer