YORKSHIRE I leaders YMCA embark on a possible season-defining clash tomorrow when they visit Wath upon Dearne (2.15pm).
Having won Yorkshire II last season, Wath have made a brilliant start to life in the top flight and are currently fourth in the table, just seven points behind the Laund Hill club, with only two defeats from their opening 10 games.
The good news for YM’s coaching staff is that everyone’s has been declared fit to play and they are able to name their strongest possible side, although as Jody Shaw admits: “It’s been a difficult decision who to leave out of the side this week.”
Stand-off Damian Clayton returns after recovering from a shoulder injury and his experience could prove crucial against a big Wath outfit who will be determined to make a statement.
In the pack, James Bell gets the starting nod over Jack Housley in the second row, while skipper Mark Whitehead who missed last week’s mauling of West Leeds is back at No8 to guide on-field operations.
“It was a good win last week against West Leeds (82-5) and shows just how far we’ve come this season against what are decent Yorkshire II side,” said Shaw.
“But with all respect to Leeds this weekend is going to be a totally different prospect. The result won’t shape the season, but a victory could put us into a very strong position.
“This week’s training has been very intensive. Yes we are able to name a strong team on paper, but we need to be strong on the field.”
YMCA: Johnson, Stead, Ryder, Barber, Bentley; Clayton, Wilson; Neilly, Hill, Ste Dyke, Stu Dyke, Bell, Sharrock, Hodge, Whitehead. Inter-change: S Housley, J Housley, Wrafter.