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Manor dreaming of sixth-placed finish ahead of Saxons battle

PUBLISHED: 14:00 11 April 2019

Callum Craig scoring for Eton Manor on his first-team debut against Amersham & Chiltern (pic: Martin Pearl).

Callum Craig scoring for Eton Manor on his first-team debut against Amersham & Chiltern (pic: Martin Pearl).

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Jamie Connors’ will take his team to old club Southend Saxons this weekend hoping to achieve a final-day win

Eton Manor know a victory away to Southend Saxons on Saturday could still secure them a top-half finish in this season’s London One North.

It will be the New Wilderness club’s final match of the term and they will aim to go out on a high following a difficult and challenging campaign.

Player availability and also injury problems have made it tough for head coach Jamie Connors and the director of rugby Ian Edwards.

Manor have rarely fielded the same XV throughout the term and it has contributed towards the Wanstead-based club currently sit ninth.

It is a low placing for a side recently in the division above, but a final-day win could take them as high as sixth.

While it would be a scant consolation for a frustrating campaign, it would lift spirits ahead of the 2019/20 season, which will hopefully be a positive one for the club.

Directly above Manor are this weekend’s opponents, the Saxons, on 62 points – which is two more than Connors’ men have picked up this term.

Therefore an away win in Essex on Saturday would at least guarantee the visitors an eighth-placed finish.

Manor, on 60 points, are just four off Old Priorians, who are seventh, and five off sixth-placed Amersham & Chiltern, who they beat last weekend.

Connors’ team could still manage to finish as high as sixth, but they would need Priorians to lose away to Old Haberdashers and Amersham to suffer a defeat at home to unbeaten Rochford Hundred.

All of the above is possible, but the first task at hand is for Manor to win back-to-back matches in the league for the first time since January.

Last weekend, they claimed an excellent 24-18 win at home to Amersham in one of their best victories of the season.

An early penalty try gave Manor the ascendancy and first-team debutant Callum Craig crossed over soon after.

Cameron Dutch kicked the extras and the hosts rounded off a fine half with Harry Bone claiming a try and with the conversion successful, it finished 21-6 at the break.

Amersham, to their credit, fought back in the second half and took advantage of Garth Tucker’s yellow card.

Dutch’s penalty ensured Manor had a cushion though, and despite the visitors going over twice, Connors’ men saw out the contest to end their home campaign with a win.

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