Make or break January for Whitchurch says coach Scott Sturdy

Reporter:

Neil Avery

Coach Scott Sturdy believes high-flying Whitchurch will face “a make or break January” in their pursuit of honours this season.

The Reds have swept all before them so far, winning all 10 games in the Midlands Two West (North) to move 10 points clear at the top.

They are also unbeaten in five cup outings, having reached the regional semi-finals of the RFU Intermediate Cup, while also flying the flag in the North Mids Shield.

After a Christmas and new year break, the league leaders will look to hit the ground running in 2018 when they return to action with a string of crunch fixtures.

First up is a trip to Old Saltleians on Saturday (2.15pm), before hosting one of their chief rivals Crewe and Nantwich the following week.

After that, the Reds entertain Nottinghamshire side Newark in the Midlands semi-final of the RFU Intermediate Cup before ending the month with a crunch showdown against second-placed Spartans.

“It’s a massive month for us which could make or break our season,” admitted Sturdy.

“If we can come through the month unbeaten, it will be a fantastic achievement, and will put us in a very strong position.

“We would be at least 15 points clear in the league, which will be a big gap to make up.

“But we know it’s going to be tough, and our first focus is Saturday and on Old Saltleians who will be a difficult side to beat in their own back yard.”

After having a break over Christmas, the Edgeley Park side returned to training on December 28, and were planning two more sessions before this weekend.

The first half of the season could hardly have gone much better, with Whitchurch making it 10 straight wins in the league after overcoming Newcastle 24-0 in their last action of the year. They have amassed 269 points while conceding 115.

As well a going well in the RFU Intermediate Cup, the Reds have also reached the quarter-finals of the North Mids Shield where they will host Edwardians.

Sturdy was delighted to finish the year unbeaten, but knows there is plenty of work to do in the coming weeks as his side look to continue their recipe of success – attacking flair combined with stout defence.

After their Christmas break, Whitchurch Seconds look to get their campaign back on track in the Sale Sharks North West League division two (south) when they host Chester Thirds on Saturday.

Whitchurch Thirds slipped into the bottom two places in the North West division four (south) after their 28-22 loss to basement rivals Winnington Park Thirds.

After a weekend off, they are also back in action on Saturday with a trip to their Crewe and Nantwich counterparts.

Email:

neil.avery

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