WESTOE have turned their back on a disastrous league campaign to prepare for an attempt on a place in the final of the Durham Senior County Cup.
Their opponents on Saturday are Horden, who have themselves suffered a terrible season which has seen them finish bottom of North One East, the division that Westoe will play in next season.
We’re not going to disregard Horden and not respect them, because that’s not what we’re about.David Haswell
Despite the gap between the two sides Westoe head coach David Haswell is not expecting the visitors to give his side an easy time on the artificial pitch at Harton Technology College.
He said: “Historically, Horden have always been very workmanlike and had a very, very big pack, and I’m sure that will be the same again tomorrow.
“So we’ll look to take advantage of the surface of the pitch and try to move them around and play some rugby.
“We’re not going to disregard Horden and not respect them, because that’s not what we’re about. We will treat them as a worthy opponent, but what we need to do is impose ourselves on the game and play like we have this season, then we should find ourselves with the win and a place in the final of the County Cup.”
Cup success may be the main target remaining on South Tyneside this season, but thoughts this weekend are turning to the future – and the semi-final is as good a time as any to blood players who may turn out to be important next term, especially with key names like Joe McKenzie and James Clark unavailable.
Haswell said: “We’ll look to try and incorporate some more Colts on the bench, but they’ve got an important game on Sunday with their own County Cup final.
“To get something out of this season like a County Cup final woud be good, but in addition, a lot of the boys who were involved in the final last year let themselves down.
“So they will have a chance to get to a final again and do themselves and the shirt justice.”
Wood Terrace is out of action this weekend as South Shields Cricket Club have taken over the ground for their season, meaning Saturday’s game will be played at Harton Technology College. Kick-off is 3pm.