Lancashire look forward to Saturday's game against Cheshire

Lancashire look forward to Saturday's game against Cheshire.        Mark Nelson                                                                                           
The new format of the competition has proved to be very demanding and ensures that the finalists from both Divisions, North and South, will not be decided untill the final game of both groups of six counties.
We have had two good wins against Northumberland and Eastern Counties and face our toughest challenge against last years finalists Cheshire at Sale FC on Saturday. As with most campaigns we have had a big squad with nearly 30 players playing in the three games. This reflects the popularity of representing the County with the players. Selection has been very hard and some very good players have missed out and that has been tough for them and tough for us as a management group. But the spirit in the group is very strong and they are focussed now on the job in hand with our neighbours from the south end of the county.
One interesting sideshow has been the lack of a Roses game for the first time since 2002. The White Rose county have had a good campaign so far having played two, won two. Their final game is against Eastern Counties at Hull Ionians and, with due respect to the team from the Fens, some of whom are on a wedding, I fully expect a regulation win for the Yorkies. However, our fate is in our own hands and we will be focussing on producing a good performance at Heywood Road come Saturday.
We have played some very good rugby, both ambitious and pragmatic, with both backs and forwards making big contributions. As a Coaching Group Warren Spragg, Martin Scott and myself have been very pleased with the way the team have responded to our ideas and both Alex Loney in the first game and Evan Stewart subsequently have led the team very well. Our off field organisation under Team Manager Steve Rigby is excellent and this has made it very easy for the playing and coaching squad to perform.  We are all focussed now on the training session on Thursday and, far more importantly, the game at the weekend. We are under no illusions how tough an assignment it will be but everyone is looking forward to the challenge.
Mark Nelson
Cat: News