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23rd Oct, 2021

Shewell: Droitwich can play without fear against rivals Malvern

DROITWICH skipper James Shewell insists all the pressure is on Malvern as the leading Midlands Two West (South) pair lock horns this weekend.

The Salt Boys know they are in for a tough challenge tomorrow (Saturday) when Rob Cook’s side make the trip to the Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground.

Droitwich’s 31-game unbeaten run is on the line and with the league’s best defence coming up against the league’s best attack in Malvern, something is bound to give.

But Shewell told the Standard he and his team-mates are looking forward to the challenge and stressed they were under no pressure whatsoever heading into the huge local derby.

“Malvern have aspirations of winning the league, whereas, when we started the season, we just targeted to be in the mix come Christmas,” he said.

“There’s a huge buzz around town for the fixture but we are quite calm and relaxed because all the pressure is on Malvern.

“We will give Malvern the respect they deserve but they will need to bring their A-game if they want to beat us.

“The first 20 minutes are going to be crucial so it is important we come out all guns blazing.

“I think if we win it gives us a huge psychological advantage going into the second half of the season but we are just taking each game as it comes.

“Our winning run will come to end eventually but hopefully not this weekend.”

High-flying Droitwich, who ended as ‘Invincible’ Midlands Three West (South) champions last term, made it 31 wins out of 31 on Saturday with a 21-19 success at Leamington.

Leamington were the last team to beat Droitwich in the league two seasons ago but they could not repeat those heroics as tries from Rob Cook (2) and Russell Brown secured the win for the Salt Boys.

Bobby Scott-Walker converted all three tries to keep Droitwich two points clear of Malvern.

“The scoreline suggests the game was closer than it was because Leamington managed to squeeze in two late tries,” said Shewell.

“The game was everything we expected and Leamington deserved the losing bonus point and they defended well to stop us from getting the winning bonus.”

With Droitwich now just one level below local rivals Bromsgrove, Shewell admitted the dream of playing in the same league as the Boars was something which was helping the Salt Boys push along in their promotion bid.

“There is some personal motivation there having played for Bromsgrove for a season,” he added.

“Bromsgrove have been around for ages so it would be great to get this young Droitwich side to that level as it’s the derby everyone would like to see.”

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