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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Dad knows best

THERE is a reunion of familiar faces at Devonshire Road tomorrow, where Millom boss Anthony Murray takes on his old side Leigh East – and has his dad on the touchline.

Roose Pioneers bring in some of the Dalton boys for their home game against Hindley, while Barrow Island, Walney Central, Ulverston and Askam are all on their travels.

MILLOM v LEIGH EAST

Devonshire Road, 2.30pm

ANTHONY Murray takes on his former club as he bids to guide the Woollybacks into round two of the Conference Cup.

Murray also has to out-fox his pal of more than 30 years, Easts coach Paul Anderson, and will have to watch his Ps and Qs as dad Stephen is likely to be one of the touch judges.

Looking ahead to the clash, Murray said: “Myself and Dave Blinkhorne (assistant coach) have connections going back many years with the East.

“We started playing with them at junior level and had some good times there. We are really looking forward to the game, as my dad also could be running the line.

“Easts are a very good team and there will be no pressure on our lads, but I am quietly confident we can get a result.

“If we play like we did last week against St Annes (when Millom won 68-6) then we are in with a shout. We played some great rugby and having the ball in hand for long periods made us fresh in defence. It’s all about self belief. I think many of the lads had been lacking this before I took over, and now they are believing and it’s paying off.”

Murray is battling to be fit for the clash as he is nursing a back injury, while a shoulder injury could force Wayne Ruddy to sit this one out.

Also out is Great Britain under-23s player Chris Warren, who is on duty on Sunday, while Paul Evans is unavailable.

Back in contention are former Easts forward Steve Tooze, Mike Crozier and Gary Heasley.

ROOSE PIONEERS v HINDLEY

Redwaters, 2.30pm

WITH Dalton opting to remain in the winter season, Pioneers are set to give debuts to Matt Bolton and Joe Watson as the Redwaters side take on North West Mens League Division One leaders Hinldey.

Unavailable, however, are Adam Batty and Mike Bower, but Dan White could be in line for a place if he passes a fitness test on a knee problem. Coach Jim Perry also misses the game due to a wedding.

He said: “It’s rare for me to miss a game. You never know, if they win they may sack me!

“Although we have lost two out of three, we have been performing pretty well and we could have won at Thatto Heath last week (when Roose lost 22-14).

“We looked like scoring late on, but lost the ball and they went 85 yards to score.”

PILKINGTON RECS v BARROW ISLAND

ISLAND look to take the good form from their win over Clock Face two weeks ago with them as they face top side Pilks.

They will have to do battle without Tom Brannon, Craig McKinnon and Mike Darby (all unavailable).

Club official John Jefferson said: “We won’t be able to finalise the squad until tonight, but we will take a strong side.

“It will be hard – it always is against Pilks.”

RYLANDS v WALNEY CENTRAL

BRAD Nicholls apart, Cents should be at full strength tomorrow, with Mark McKinley and Danny Morrow both in contention after missing the win over Folly Lane two weeks ago.

Coach Jan Elliott said: “We have a good squad to choose from, but you need your experienced players for a game like this.

“The young lads did well against Folly Lane and I will continue to use them in home games.

“We are playing with confidence, but we will have to be on our guard.

“We put more than 60 points on them away last season, but lost miserably at home.”

WEST BANK QUAY A v ULVERSTON

TOM White is set to return for the Dragley Beck side if the game goes ahead.

Coach Gareth Jones said: “We are preparing for the game and we have a strong side ready to play, but we had a call earlier this week stating that the game could be off as they are struggling to field two teams.

“We will wait and see.”

ELLAND v ASKAM

THE Villagers are on the road deep into Yorkshire for the second successive week when they take on Huddersfield side Elland in the Conference Cup.

Coach Mike Wilson said: “We lost in the league at Elland, but after putting in a good performance at East Leeds last week we will go with an air of confidence.

“We do play at a high level of rugby and we are getting there.”

Sam Broadley (toe injury) and Darren Gaskell (unavailable) miss out, but otherwise it will be the same Askam squad as last week.

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