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Preview - Novos vs Barnard Castle 19.01 @ 1415

By Magnus Leask

We put our 7-0 home record on the line against 7th placed Barnard Castle - it's sure to be an entertaining game so get on down to watch.

Novos will look to make it 8-0 at Fortress Vos this Saturday as Barnard Castle arrive at Sutherland Park. An incredibly tough task for the group as Barney arrive on the back of a fine win against Gateshead last Saturday.

The front row is pretty set in stone these days and Josh Stacey, Daniel Shuttleworth and Pete Twentyman will be asked to provide a more solid scrum performance then last time out against our opponents. It is hoped that the tight five will be completed by Chris Ward and Adam McDonald - although we wait to see what mins Adam has had to play for Northumberland U20's on Friday.

Regulars back rowers Ben Merrett and Sean Ramsay will be joined by newcomer Darren Kelly at six. Darren joins us from Gosforth RFC and has impressed in his three training sessions - we are grateful to Gosforth for their assistance in ensuring Darren's transfer goes through at short notice.

Christian Selkirk and Lewis Chater start for the third week in a row and we welcome back Henry Wilson at twelve who missed last week due to his 21st birthday celebrations. He is joined in midfield by Sam Busby - this may be Sam's last home game of the season as he and his partner Amelia are off to Australia for a period. He has been an incredible player for us over the past four seasons - scoring 107 tries in 109 matches. He will be a big miss from the group on and off the field and we wish Sam and Amelia a safe journey.

The back three remains the same as last week with Shaun Stewart, Tim Hart and Ben Wollerton charged with finishing anything we create.

Saturday's finishers are Zac Weatherhead, Euan Duncan and Nick Bellamy. Zac has provided real energy of the bench in his previous appearances for the first team. Like Adam McDonald, Euan may be participating in the county U20 game on Friday so his mins in this match will be dictated by what he has done on Friday night. Our final finisher is the mercurial talents of Nick Bellamy - Nick has the ability to spread the ball wide in the latter part of proceedings should our opponents tire.

The fixture earlier the season between these two sides was one of the most incredible games I have witnessed. Novos were completely overpowered in the first 30 mins and Barney looked to have the game wrapped up with a 25 point lead. A barnstorming finish by Novos saw them not only recover but actual lead the match 32-31. However, our opponents got the winning try moments from the final whistle for a 36-32 victory.

First team vs Barnard Castle - Josh Stacey, Daniel Shuttleworth, Pete Twentyman, Adam McDonald, Chris Ward, Darren Kelly, Ben Merrett, Sean Ramsay, Christian Selkirk, Lewis Chater, Shaun Stewart, Henry Wilson, Sam Busby, Tim Hart, Ben Wollerton, Zac Weatherhead, Euan Duncan and Nick Bellamy.

Up the Vos !

Updated 15:11 - 29 Jan 2019 by Fran Mockford

Where next?

Preview - Novos @ Acklam 26.01 at 1415 Novocastrians travel to Acklam knowing a win will leave them with a 4 from 4 record in 2019 and keep them in touch of Westoe and Stockton.
Preview - Novos @ Whitby - 12th Jan - Bus Trip After a well behaved trip to Old Rish the club invite players, injured players, Aliks and WAGS to board the bus to Whitby this Saturday.


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