Stowmarket look for home comforts

STOWMARKET’S last league game of the season at Eastern Counties One champions Newmarket looks a dead rubber on the face of it.

STOWMARKET’S last league game of the season at Eastern Counties One champions Newmarket looks a dead rubber on the face of it.

Newmarket are already contemplating life higher up the rugby pyramid while Stowmarket are safely tucked in behind them in second with a promotion play-off tie against Bancroft in the bag.

But there is a big prize on the game in the fact that if Stowmarket can pull off a surprise tomorrow they will crucially enjoy home advantage against the Essex side on April 24 in the play-off.

“If we win on Saturday then we will be at home but if we lose then we’ll have to go to Bancroft,” revealed Stowmarket chairman John Phoenix, who saw his club’s Intermediate Vase bid hit the buffers away at Saracens Amateurs earlier this year.


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“We would obviously much prefer to be at home as we’ve found to our cost this season before.

“It’s a much more difficult proposition if we have to go away.

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“But Newmarket on Saturday will be very tough for us.

“They are unbeaten in the league this season but I think it will be close as it was at our place when we played them.

“The fact they are already promoted could work in our favour - they may be thinking that they could do without this game.

“There’s certainly a lot resting on the game and hopefully we can pull off a result.”

The scheduling of the play-off tie has caused some controversy with both Bancroft and Stowmarket.

Both clubs would prefer to play the tie on May 1 as Stowmarket were due to go to Cornwall on tour on April 24 while Bancroft had arranged a Help for Heroes charity day.

However, a plea to the RFU to change the date unfortunately fell on deaf ears.

“We’ve had a few issues with the arrangement of the play-off game to put it mildly,” added Phoenix

“The RFU have decided to schedule the game for then despite both teams being happy to play the match the weekend after. It’s disappointing to say the least.”

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