Eton Manor facing a Wild Geese chase
PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 October 2015
New Wilderness outfit preparing to welcome London Irish Wild Geese after losing to rivals Colchester on Saturday
Eton Manor welcome London Irish Wild Geese to the New Wilderness for their fifth National League Three South fixture of the campaign this weekend expecting an extremely tough task.
The Sunbury-on-Thames outfit have won their opening four matches and picked up a bonus point in each match to place them second in the table.
Manor are without a victory and currently bottom of the standings with just one bonus point to their name after losing 26-8 at old rivals Colchester on Saturday.
But head coach Jamie Connors hopes to have more players at his disposal soon with some set to return from long-term injuries over the next few weeks.
Manor remain understrength for the visit of London Irish this weekend, but will give everything they can to try and stuff the Geese.
Connors said: “Obviously it will be a tough game, that’s for sure. We will probably have a similar type of side as per last week so it will be difficult for us.
“A couple of lads were not available against Colchester because of work and bits and bobs, but they are back now. We have also lost a couple more, though, who go away this Saturday, so we are probably even again for this weekend.
“I have got a couple of the long term injuries back the week after, however, for the Chichester game so that will be good.”
Captain Tryson Goodchild is still a few weeks away from a return, but Connors introduced some new players against Colchester last weekend and they impressed in a losing cause.
He expects to have more new players available for Saturday’s home game and is expecting they will be able to enhance the group.
“Hopefully we’ve got a couple of new players for the London Irish game because they trained this week,” revealed Connors.
“We had a new chap that played for us at 13 against Colchester. He started and did well, looking quite good and in another three or four weeks we’ll be able to get Tryson and a few others back, so we’ll be looking in reasonable shape then.”
Unfortunately Manor were again not at full strength on Saturday and that showed as they lost against their old rivals.
Colchester and Connors’ team had a terrific battle last season in London One North and played out a thrilling contest on the final day of the campaign.
It finished 18-18 at the New Wilderness, as Colchester claimed the title, but Manor won a play-off and faced their Essex foes again at National level.
Although Chris Jones scored a try and Reece Reed kicked a penalty for the visitors they were unable to break down Colchester’s determined defence.
“Both teams were quite down on power and nowhere near the standard compared to the game at the end of last season,” said Connors. “We did have a lot of opportunties, especially in the second half, but couldn’t convert.”
Colchester were 16-3 ahead at the break and added another penalty soon after the restart. But Manor hit back with Jones crossing over the line and they enjoyed a sustained period of pressure on the home defence for the next 25 minutes, but just couldn’t add to their score.
They did have a try in the corner disallowed, but in the end Colchester managed to survive and score another themselves in the final 10 minutes to rub salt into the Manor wounds and consign the New Wilderness outfit to a fourth consecutive loss.
Connors added: “We had a lot of line breaks and looked like the better team for long periods in the second half, but just couldn’t get over the line unfortunately.
“We scored one good try and had another disallowed in the corner and like I say, we made lots of line breaks, but just couldn’t finish them off, so it was definitely a disappointing day for us.”
Defeat saw Manor drop to the bottom of the National League Three South table after Wimbledon earned a victory last weekend.
Only Westcliff and newly promoted Manor are yet to win this year, but Connors will hope once he gets bodies back they can start to show their real quality.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.