Rugby: Hayes eyes Uttoxeter upturn
DONALD Hayes is demanding an immediate improvement as Uttoxeter enter the Junior Vase having tasted defeat for the first time this season.
Uttoxeter, who were leading the way in Midlands Four West (North) until last weekend, take on Midlands Four East (North) table toppers Worksop in an intriguing encounter.
Both sides' form puts them among the favourites for the trophy, which is open to clubs at level nine and below in the national pyramid.
But director of rugby Hayes knows Uttoxeter cannot afford to be as lax as they were in a surprise 3-0 loss away at Clee Hill last time out.
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And he wants to make sure any progress shown this Saturday is carried forward to league matters as the Oldfields team chase promotion straight back to Midlands Three.
"It should be a lesson learned now, but time will tell. We are looking for a big response from the players," said Hayes.
"We highlighted at the start of the season that the away games were going to be crucial in this campaign and it is ringing true as there has been a vast difference between our performance at home than on the road."
Worksop have opened their league campaign with three back-to-back hard-fought victories and a walkover.
Their latest success came with a 25-20 triumph at struggling Nottingham Corsairs which sent them four points clear.
ECCLESHALL have a diversion from their league woes with a Senior Vase trip to Mellish.
It has been a tough start to the term for the Baden Hall team, who have suffered four consecutive defeats in Midlands Three West (North).
But there were signs of improvement last weekend when they went down 27-17 against a promotion-chasing Bloxwich outfit.
Mellish have won one and lost three of their first four games in Midlands Three East (North), shipping 182 points in the process.
Eccleshall have been putting their forwards through extra training in preparation as they hunt their first silverware since the 1986 Owen Cup.