Old Grovians call for fans' backing in big game

Wharfedale Observer: Old Grovian Gareth Phillips will be hoping for a big game against Harrogate Pythons Old Grovian Gareth Phillips will be hoping for a big game against Harrogate Pythons

Old Grovians’ director of rugby Martin Whitcombe has called for a big show of support when Harrogate Pythons visit Elm Tree Farm this Saturday.

Grovians reclaimed top spot in SSE Yorkshire Division Four with last weekend’s win at Halifax, while the Pythons slipped from first to third when their home game against Marist fell victim to the weather.

It means the visitors go into Saturday's clash four points behind Old Grovians, albeit with a game in hand, but a home victory would heap the pressure on Harrogate and second-placed Old Otliensians as the promotion race enters the home straight.

Whitcombe knows that, whatever the result, nothing will be decided this weekend, altough it's siginificance should not be underestimated.

He said: "It's not the defining moment of the season . . . but it's advantage us if we can pull the game off. We'd like as much support as we could. Wear something green and black and get behind the team!"

The game throws together the division's top two defences and, while Harrogate can boast the meanest record, it was Old Grovians who edged a tight contest 10-3 when the sides met earlier this season.

Whitcombe is giving nothing away ahead of the game, preferring to back his team on the pitch, while in respect of Harrogate's defensive record, he said: "It might be advantage Harrogate but we're going to give a good account of ourselves.

“We know how to get the job done, we've only come unstuck once (this season) and the players have matured a lot this year."

Old Grovians (home to Harrogate Pythons) from: J Oakes, M Worrall, C Blackhall, D Roberts, T Dalton, C Cockshott, R Brown, J Baker, H Cody-Owen, B Williams, T Whitehead, S Robinson, D Foster, J Feeney, A Lesur, A Weaving, A Cadman, B Magee, J Sowden, A Griffin, J Hinchliffe, B Brown, G Phillips, R Hopkinson, R Sharrocks.

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