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Westoe coach James Fitzpatrick confident of survival ahead of crunch clash

James Fitzpatrick
James Fitzpatrick

Westoe legend James Fitzpatrick is confident the team has the ability and commitment to avoid relegation this season ahead of a crunch clash tomorrow.

The Benfield Motors-sponsored South Shields Westoe face old local rivals Northern away in the return fixture of the season, having beaten them at home last year.

This fixture was a casualty of the weather in January, so is being played on a rest weekend for the league.

The first meeting between these two sides earlier in the campaign was a close affair, with Westoe turning up the heat in the second half to record their first win of season.

Northern, like Westoe have struggled this season, and currently lie third from bottom in the North One East table.

A bonus point win tomorrow would see the Shieldsmen leapfrog Northern into 12th place and give a glimmer of hope of staying in this league next season.

Last week’s win at home against Wheatley Hills gave the side and their supporters a much-needed boost.

The game was extremely physical with four yellow cards and one red card being shown by the referee. Westoe however didn’t allow their opponents to bully them into submission, as the young squad dug deep and rugby became the winner on the day.

The win delighted Leeds Carnegie player Fitzpatrick, who has returned to the club in a coaching capacity after suffering a knee injury.

Backs coach Fitzpatrick said: “I am pleased with the lads’ performance last week and if we can build upon this and produce this for the rest of the season I see no reason why we cannot stay in this league.”

The West Nautical-sponsored second team will be in action at Wood Terrace tomorrow against West Hartlepool seconds, kick off 2.15pm.

And on Sunday, the Westoe Under-14s travel to Durham City RFC Under-14s to play in the semi-final of the Durham County Cup.

Finally, the Calcutta Cup game between Scotland and England will be shown live on the big screen at Westoe tomorrow.