Fylde final clash in hostile territory

FYLDE RU must win on 'enemy' territory again if they are to retain the John Burgess Lancashire Cup this spring.

They will take on Preston Grasshoppers at Lightfoot Green on Easter Monday, April 5 in the decider – it was there that they beat the same rivals in last year's final when they prevailed over the Hoppers by 37-17.

But Fylde say they have no qualms about the choice of venue.

Director of rugby Mark Nelson said: "Essentially, it is logistics – the county committee has designated that the county cup final will take place on Easter Monday and is immovable – on that day, Blackpool Panthers play at the Woodlands.

"There is a Trophy final and a women's final on that day as well – if you are looking at neutral grounds who can cope with that, you are probably only looking at Fylde and Preston.

"We are out of the equation, so I don't think the committee had much choice."

*ROSES rivals Lancashire and Yorkshire remain the only unbeaten teams in the Northern division of the National Under-20 RU Championship after the second series of matches

Lancashire won 39-9 against Cumbria in Carlisle, while Yorkshire defeated Northumberland 18-13 at Driffield.

In the next round of matches on February 21, Lancashire play Durham at Wigan, while Yorkshire are at home to Cumbria at Wharfedale

Seven days later, Lancashire play Yorkshire at Fylde.

On March 14, Lancashire visit Crewe to take on Cheshire – that day Yorkshire face Durham at Malton and Norton.

*FYLDE RU front rower Peter Altham, on loan from Wharfedale, is in the England Deaf starting XV for their international clash against Wales at Broadstreet RFC on Sunday.

Altham is named at hooker for his international debut

The English Deaf Rugby Union was formed in 2003 to give deaf and hard of hearing rugby players the chance to represent their country.

Squad: Guy Lavery (Barnes); Martin Ryan (West Park St Helens), Matthew Cook (Leicester Lions), Craig Orrick (West Park St Helens), Adam Faulkner (Newport); Mark Lewis (Brighton), Lee Woollard (Sidcup); Nick Todd (Bucks University and Petersfield), Peter Altham(Wharfedale), Tim Aldridge (Twickenham), Kris Mannering (Richmond), Dan McAllister (Luton), Ian Collins (Sevenoaks), Bob Turner (Old Leamingtonians), Bothma Truter (Old Whitgiftian). Replacements: Robert Hill (Chinnor), Len Fincham (South Leicester), Brett Pruce (Aylestone St James), Tom Cowdale (Wolverhampton), Peter Small (Old Whitgiftian), Rhys Stickings (Thanet Wanderers), Leigh Bialik (Haywards Heath).

*GARSTANG III are out of the Raging Bull Plate, losing 48-0 away to Orrell II.

Fleetwood III lost 49-3 away to Glossop III in the Raging Bull Shield – Fylde V lost 22-15 at home to Knutsford, but BAe Warton I travelled to Littleborough III and came away with a 13-8 win.

In Division One of the Miller Homes League, Fylde III lost 27-5 at home to Vale Of Lune II.

In Division Three North Fylde IV won 28-7 away to Bolton III.

Fleetwood II won 16-0 at Thornton Cleveleys in a top of the table clash.

In Division Four North, Thornton Cleveleys II lost 22-6 at home to Preston Grasshoppers V.

*FYLDE are still waiting to discover the extent of a knee injury suffered by Dave Wilksc during the match with Preston Grasshoppers on Saturday. The flanker, who doubles as forwards coach, may require a scan.

*THE Anti-Assassins defeated a Fylde President's XV at the Woodlands by 56-5.