Blaydon are now approaching the last two return matches of the season against Kirkby Lonsdale at home (H) and Vale of Lune away (A) and below is my summary of the situation in North Premier, also a review should we come in second place, on our likely opponents in the play-off. This would take place on Saturday 27th April.
Our first two results against our remaining opponents shows Blaydon winning 36-0 and 92-12 respectively and a repeat of two 5 point scores would do the job!
Currently Hull are top having already achieved promotion to National 2 North some weeks ago and Blaydon are battling it out with Billingham and Harrogate for 2nd place, however, Billingham’s loss last week to Alnwick, gives them a difficult task particularly as their opponents this weekend are champions Hull. The team finishing 2nd will play the similar placed team in the Midlands Division (more of that later).
The outstanding fixtures are:
- 6th April:
- BLAYDON v KIRKBY LONSDALE (H) who are safe.
- HARROGATE v ILKLEY (H) who are safe but a local derby.
- BILLINGHAM v HULL (H) who are champions.
- 13th April:
- VALE OF LUNE v BLAYDON (A) Vale already relegated.
- HARROGATE v SANDAL (H) a Yorkshire derby.
- BILLINGHAM v LYMM (H) who may still need points.
Upon reflection, we are in the driving seat for the play-off place but there is still some way to go.
The play-off will almost certainly be away to whichever Midlands side finishes second as the Midlands’ sides have better ‘win’ records than any in the Northern Group and therefore unless Luctonians have a dip in form, lose in the last 2 games and finish 2nd, Midlands team will have home advantage.
Currently Scunthorpe, after a recent patch of poor results, have come good and are 2 points clear of Luctonians but the Hereford side are currently going well and returning massive victories.
The outstanding fixtures in this division are as follows:
- 6th April:
- SCUNTHORPE v BRIDGENORTH (H) currently 4th.
- LUCTONIANS v DONCASTER PHOENIX (H) currently 8th in the table.
- 13th April:
- BROADSTREET v SCUNTHORPE (A) currently 5th in the table.
- LITCHFIELD v LUCTONIANS (A) Litchfield currently 12th.
On paper, Luctonians seemingly have the easier run-in but need Scunthorpe to either lose a match or achieve no bonus points to overtake them on goal difference. It is all in the melting pot and a lot could still happen if, and I say if, we were to finish in second place the game will be played on Saturday 27th April with either a long travel on the Friday night to play at Luctonians or an easier journey to Scunthorpe on the Saturday morning.
Either way, it will not be easy and of course we still have to get the right results in our final fixtures to finish 2nd in our league and it must be pointed out that Kirkby Lonsdale recently defeated Billingham 17 – 5 in a re-arranged game.