Widnes ready for big kick-off with a pos­i­tive start par­tic­u­larly cru­cial

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Theguide -

FI­NALLY, the wait­ing is over, as Widnes RUFC pre­pare to take on newly-pro­moted Hoy­lake at Heath Road on Satur­day in their first league game of the new cam­paign.

And, what a sea­son it prom­ises to be.

Many teams have strength­ened both on and off the field, and with the chance of a po­ten­tial shake-up of the League at the end of the sea­son – which could in­volve some en­forced rel­e­ga­tion for clubs – the pres­sure is re­ally on to make a pos­i­tive start.

Widnes have al­ready played two pre-sea­son trial games. They com­fort­ably beat Ea­gle, be­fore earn­ing a cred­i­ble draw against War­ring­ton who play at a level higher than the Wids.

They did, though, miss out on the real in­ten­sity of a com­pet­i­tive cup game last week­end af­ter re­ceiv­ing a bye in the Lan­cashire Plate.

This Satur­day af­ter­noon’s op­po­nents, Hoy­lake, eas­ily saw off the chal­lenge of a mixed Sed­g­ley Park out­fit a fort­night ago, but slipped up at Con­gle­ton last week­end in the first round of the Cheshire Bowl.

The Wir­ral-based out­fit were in ter­rific form last sea­son fin­ish­ing in sec­ond place, and they will be keen to make an im­pres­sion right from the off.

Widnes, mean­while, man­aged to start off well enough with three suc­ces­sive wins, but will be look­ing to im­prove on what turned out to be an even­tual sev­enth place fin­ish.

It is seven years since these two clubs last met.

That day, Widnes edged ● home 20-3 in the cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture at Heath Road.

Since then, both teams have ex­pe­ri­enced the highs of pro­mo­tion as well as the lows of rel­e­ga­tion.

Clashes be­tween the two have of­ten been close and keenly-fought af­fairs, and as Widnes club skip­per Kevin Lead­bet­ter con­firmed af­ter the War­ring­ton fix­ture, this Satur­day’s game will be no ex­cep­tion.

“We have trained well over the sum­mer, the pre-sea­son games have gone well, and we can’t wait to get some real ac­tion un­der our belt,” he said.

In the other se­nior fixtures, the sec­ond XV take on Capen­hurst at home in Divi­sion Two South, whilst the thirds make the short jour­ney to face Sefton in Divi­sion Four West.

All the games will kick-off at 3pm. ● Widnes club pres­i­dent, Stephen Mor­ris, would also like to re­mind mem­bers and sup­port­ers to buy their pre-match buf­fet tick­ets for the game in plenty of time as places are go­ing fast. Tick­ets are priced at just £10 for an ex­cel­lent four course meal at the club.

Ian Moss

Widnes cap­tain Kevin Lead­bet­ter passes the ball in a game against Anselmi­ans last sea­son.

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