Express & Star

Shillingford fires DK up for ‘must-win’ clash at bottom

Dudley Kingswinford director of rugby Neil Shillingford has admitted this weekend’s bottom-of-the-table clash is a ‘must-win’.


DK sit one point above this weekend’s opponents Newport (Salop) in National Two West, with both cut well adrift from the rest of the division.

And Shillingford admitted that the clash is one his side cannot afford to lose given their precarious position in the league.

“It definitely is (a must win game),” Shillingford said. “But every week is important now, and it’s not even just about wins it’s about getting bonus points as well.”

He added: “Saturday’s game being cancelled was probably a good thing because we’d had poor preparation with our training being cancelled.

“Hopefully we can get a good week of training in this week and move forward to the game at Newport.”

DK find themselves second bottom on 18 points, 13 points behind Bournville, who sit just outside the relegation zone in 12th.

And with time running out to save their season, DK know they have to rely on results elsewhere going their way too.

“It’s all about the maths now, it was nice to see Bournville not get any points on Saturday, but to be brutally honest it’s still going to be tough,” Shillingford admitted. “We’ve got 11 games left now and realistically even if we win 50 per cent of them you’re only on 25 points.”

He added: “As it stands it’s not all about us, it’s about the teams above us and their performances.

“They’ll hopefully be looking over their shoulder so all we can do is keep putting the pressure on.”

There is also a huge game in Regional One Midlands this weekend, as second-placed Stourbridge travel to fourth-placed Bridgnorth.

Elsewhere in the division, Old Halesonians face Syston in search of just their second win of the season.

Walsall face Tamworth in Regional Two North, while second-placed Lichfield host Wolverhampton. Lichfield could have gone into the game as league leaders, but missed the chance to claim top spot last weekend after slipping to a 28-22 defeat against West Bridgford.

The hosts started the afternoon two points behind Long Eaton, who were without a fixture.

But Lichfield were unable to capitalise, conceding two tries in either half on a rare off day that saw them lose their 100 per cent home record.

In Counties Two Midlands West (West), Rugeley remain rooted to the foot of the table after a closely fought 19-17 defeat at Luctonians III.

Walsall II were given an away walkover win at Coventry Welsh in Counties Two Midlands West (East), while Leek II and Trentham had home walkover wins against Aldridge and Cannock respectively in Counties Three Midlands West (North). And in Counties Four Midlands West (South), Stourport were beaten 31-7 by relegation rivals Evesham II.