THURSTON will be almost certain of clinching the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties League Division Two title if they win at table-toppers Hadleigh tomorrow (3pm).
The two sides clash at Layham Road, with Thurston currently trailing their hosts by a point as they bid to bounce straight back up to Division One following last season’s relegation.
Skipper Ben Sinclair has urged his team to up their performance after struggling to a 19-14 defeat of Mistley on Saturday, ending their visitors’ promotion ambitions.
“We are really looking forward to the game,” added Thurston’s captain. “Hadleigh are a strong side and gave us a really tough game at home earlier in the season, which we won 18-3.
“We expect an even tougher game this week and we need to raise our game a couple of levels to be able to compete – we’ve got the ability to do that.
“This game is what we’ve been gearing up to all year – we’ve had a tough couple of years and winning the title would certainly be just rewards for the effort and commitment everyone has put in this season to get us back where we belong.”
With Thurston’s last game at home to a Sawston side with minus-three points, victory and a spot at the top of the table tomorrow would seemingly guarantee them the title, despite a 10-point deduction this season.
However, with just three points separating the top four sides, they could still be denied promotion with a loss at Hadleigh tomorrow, even if they gain the bonus-point win expected of them against Sawston on the last day of the season.
Fourth-placed Thetford host third-placed Swaffham tomorrow (3pm) aiming to capitalise on the misfortune of whoever fails to win in the clash of the top two.
At the other end of the table, Mildenhall Eagles can double their win tally for the season when they visit Sawstom tomorrow (3pm).
Meanwhile, in London One North, Bury St Edmunds will be hoping to pile on more misery for the league’s bottom clubs.
They trounced basement boys Braintree 128-0 on Saturday and host second-bottom Hammersmith and Fulham tomorrow (3pm).
Bury should comfortably pass the 1,000-point barrier this season as they currently have 932, and it is one of the goals Bury coach Gavin Hogg has set his team.
“We want to finish the league with the best points difference out of all the sides and we are 68 away from having scored 1,000 points this season,” he said. “It’s been nice to have these little goals because our chances of promotion have gone.”
In London Three North East, Stowmarket travel to leaders Holt tomorrow (3pm) hoping to consolidate second and set up a potential promotion-winning clash against Wymondham on Saturday, April 14.