WIN, win, win is the message that Yorkshire managers Allan Thompson and Keith Hatzer will instil in their side as they prepare to take on Greater Manchester tomorrow (2.00) at Alverthorpe WMC and Springbank, Chadderton.
After slipping to an eight-point defeat (424-416) to South Yorkshire at Thornhill CBC, last year’s beaten finalists Yorkshire need to beat Greater Manchester by 23 points to book a place in the British semi-finals.
It was a disappointing start to Thompson’s first match as home team manager, but he was not too downcast.
“It’s all about evolution, not revolution,” said Thommo, who has 121 county caps and is second behind all-time leader Robert Hitchen, who is still a key player.
“The selection committee and me could have come in and made huge changes to the side, but what point would there have been after we got all the way through to the final last year.
“Instead, we have just added to and tweaked the squad a little, while certain changes have had to be made because players were unavailable.”
He added: “With two games only to get my teeth into so far it’s been difficult to judge how it’s been going, but hopefully we’ll get the right result tomorrow and progress.”
Away team manager Hatzer, whose team is captained by Netherton’s Paul Sigsworth, added: “I think we can certainly win tomorrow. Greater Manchester have turned us over on our last three meetings so we’re due one now.
“Everyone raises their game against us, both as a team and individually, because we are Yorkshire. There is a lot of personal pride at stake and I’m sure we can go through.”
At Alverthorpe: Ronnie Wormald (Brighouse Spts) v Jim Derby, Peter Jagger (Spen Vic) (cpt) v Andy Cairns, Scott Fisher (Morton House) v Nigel Greenhalgh, Craig Newton (Lower Hopton) v Laurence Hallett, Wayne Moseley (Lockwood Con) v Andy Buckley, Josh Pitt (Ossett FH) v Mike Gee.
Rob Lloyd (Glasshoughton Welf) v Andrew Lowe, Graham Higgins (Ossett FH) v Glen Beeley, David Fisher (Morton House) v Alan Hodson, Mick Robinson (Morton House) v Colin Price, Gary Ammatt (Ossett FH) v Gary Ellis (cpt), Steve Pinfield (Lower Hopton) v Lee Turner. Yorkshire reserves: Thomas Hanson (Pudsey BC) and Liam Griffin (Eccleshill).
At Springbank BC, Albion St, Chadderton: Paul Sigsworth (Netherton Con) (cpt) v Steve Copeland, Steven Haigh (Netherton Con) v Darren Griffiths, Lee Lawton (Lower Hopton) v Colin Lane, Graeme Wilson (Lower Hopton) v David Walker, Steven Hirst (Netherton Con) v Nick Brooks, Nicky White (Thongsbridge) v Matt Gillies.#
Robert Hitchen (Lower Hopton) v Chris Hayes, Chris Mordue (Brighouse Spts) v Ryan Goodman, Nathan Webster (Alverthorpe) v Peter Fielding, Nigel Cranston (Crossgates) v John Wade, Graham Hickey (Lower Hopton) v Dave Thornley, Gary Smith (Lower Hopton) v Peter Craig. Yorkshire reserve: Paul Ingleby (Longwood).