It’s second v third in Counties Four ADM Lancs/Cheshire this weekend as third-placed Colne & Nelson visit second place Vagabonds for the first league clash between the two.
Somewhere in the distant memory is a recollection of Colne & Nelson coming to the island for one of the festivals back in the 1980s and 90s, but their north Lancashire location has until now spared them a league visit.
Vagas have a 50 percent record, losing against Ellesmere Port but beating Marple.
Colne & Nelson have played only once and whupped Ellesmere Port 49-9 last Saturday which suggests they may be contenders for a top finish in this league.
The conditions for Vagas last weekend were horrible. A strong wind and a wet ball made kicking awkward and handling, at times, impossible, but they will be pleased with the set scrum which dominated last week and had a hand in securing the bonus point too.
Mark Oldfield was typically destructive, Dan Bonwick was typically creative and Cal Donnell put in a man of the match performance in the centres.
With home advantage for this game, they’ll fancy their chances and deservedly too. It remains to be seen whether Colne are the real deal or whether they’ll just bring a travelling team.
Ramsey and Southern
Nomads head away in Cheshire Competition
Ramsey head for Marple in the Cheshire Plate and will be hoping to pick up their second win after a big score against Prenton back in August.
Marple lost away at Vagas in the league last week so will be licking their wounds a little.
Aside from the win at Prenton, Ramsey have very little to show for their efforts. The squad has taken part in the various friendly initiatives which have hallmarked the start of the 2023-24 season but with little in the way of competitive fixtures it’s been difficult to prepare.
The team is largely unchanged, although there are a couple of new faces. Wing Will Millsopp had joined and Eddie Plaatjies has had a couple of cameos. Aside from that though, the potent backline is largely unchanged.
Based on the recent Marple form, a Ramsey win could be on the cards here which will put them in pole position for a spot in the February final.
Southern Nomads will take part in the Cheshire Bowl this season and their opener is this weekend when they head to New Brighton.
This will be a tough job for the men in green with New Brighton playing in Counties Two ADM Lancs/Cheshire which is two divisions above Vagabonds.
They were promoted last season and are currently holding fifth place with three wins from five outings.
Similar to Ramsey, Nomads have had no real competitive game time so far and while the squad has a few changes, they’re pretty much as they were last season.
Although they beat Vagas in the third-place play-off for the Manx Cup, I suspect they may struggle a little away at New Brighton.
on the road again
The usual frequency of women’s fixtures is usually poor, but Vagabonds face their third game in as many weeks when they travel to Didsbury Toc H Ladies this Saturday in Women’s NC1 North West.
Hopefully Vagas will regain some of their missing players this weekend after two big reversals.
They lost 72-0 in their league opener against a Chester side they ran close last season and last week it was 66-0 away at Sefton with less than a full complement.
A full 15 this week with Nat Bush, Chrissie Johnson and Sammie Macdonald all returning would be a good start. Didsbury have played one and won one, beating Eccles last Saturday.
The two sides have met twice previously but not for five years. Didsbury have the historical honours with two wins from two.
Vagas have a young side and these newer players will gradually grow into the game.
Any points from this trip will be part of their learning curve and will speed the process up. A win would be priceless.
Saturday, October 7:
Counties Four ADM Lancs/Cheshire
Vagabonds v Colne & Nelson
@ Ballafletcher ko tbc
Women’s NC1 North West
Didsbury Toc H v Vagabonds
@ Didsbury ko tbc
Marple v Ramsey
@ Marple ko 1.30pm
New Brightin v PDMS Southern Nomads
@ New Brighton ko tbc