Battle for top spot

Mark Stephenson
Mark Stephenson
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FYLDE rugby club are on collision course with Ealing Trailfinders tomorrow, in the battle for top spot in National League One.

But all options are open to Fylde as they travel to London.

As coach Mark Nelson said: “After Ealing tomorrow, we will have played every team in the league – we can go top of the table if we win, but equally we can end the day in fourth place.

“That is how tight the division is, not just at the top.”

Fylde will be delighted with the way the season has gone thus far – they have not just consolidated their new-found status after promotion, but built up a head of steam in terms of a title challenge.

But Nelson is under no illusion about the size of the task tomorrow in the first – and momentous –meeting between the two clubs.

He said: “Ealing are very well resourced and have made a very good start to the season – they have had a couple of hiccups, losing their last two matches, and so they will be very much up for the challenge against us.

“We will approach the match like any other.

“We will have to be organised defensively because we will have a lot of tackling to do, but it is our intention to put them under pressure in attack.”

Alastair Livesey starts in the front row in place of Simon Griffiths as Fylde continue their rotation policy.

Hooker Jonny Roddam faces a fitness test, but provisionally he has been named on the bench.

Flanker Steve McGinnis is unavailable, but could come back into contention for the home clash with Cinderford tomorrow week.

Mark Stephenson, who has been dogged by injury this season, is named on the bench, while Peter Altham has been ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Centre Stephen Briers is returning to fitness.

He was able to train this week, though he is not yet match-fit and was not considered for the Ealing trip.