Injury-hit YM ready for old adversaries

RUGBY UNION: The Ipswich YM's battered and bruised squad head up the A140 to Hethersett near Norwich this week to take on an old adversary, Crusaders.This rivalry has turned out some real classics over the years, full blooded affairs all ways and promotion deciders sometimes as well.

RUGBY UNION

The Ipswich YM's battered and bruised squad head up the A140 to Hethersett near Norwich this week to take on an old adversary, Crusaders.

This rivalry has turned out some real classics over the years, full blooded affairs all ways and

promotion deciders sometimes as well.

On paper the undefeated six out of six Rushmere side look favourites after their traditional excellent start to the campaign – particularly when Crusaders have made their worst start in years, having won just once in their six games so far.

YM coach Noel Holloway has been around long enough to realise you can't be over optimistic before any game in Eastern Counties Two though, especially an Ipswich Norwich derby like this one.

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Despite the result in last week's Powergen Junior Vase defeat at Sheppey, Holloway was delighted with the performance from another changed side and stressed this week that if that level of intensity could be matched, then another league win could well be achieved.

There was bad news for prop forward Simon Cordle when he re-aggravated a knee problem while making a substitute appearance in Kent.

He is definitely ruled out and there are question marks over the return of Jamie Clarkson also, who is recovering from a dislocated shoulder.

A definite plus is the return of the inform flanker Phil Howard to the starting line-up. He was at Twickenham last week, as was winger Ryan Quinton who rejoins the squad.

Another winger, Carlton Ford, has declared himself fit again after a hamstring problem while the entire party travelling will be keen to see a good send off for Australian player Damian Brown. The back row traveller is off to Thailand for a few months and his laid-back attitude to life will be missed around the clubhouse.

The YM find themselves four points clear at the top of the division with Newmarket the closest chaser, two defeats and four points back. Another good win this week will not only shake off the disappointment of that Vase reversal but breathe real confidence into the injury hit squad too.

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