12th Dec, 2018

Shewell: Droitwich fully focused on Malvern test after booking Twickenham return

THOUGHTS of gracing the turf at Twickenham once again are firmly on ice as Droitwich look to mathematically secure the Midlands Two West (South) title at county rivals Malvern this weekend.

The Monners will take on Camberley in the final of the RFU Intermediate Cup on May 6 after securing a 24-22 victory over York in the semi-finals on Saturday.

It will be a second visit to the home of rugby for Droitwich who were beaten by Farnham in the final of the Senior Vase a year ago.

Despite having a huge cup final on the horizon, skipper James Shewell told the Standard all eyes are on Saturday’s league game against second-placed Malvern.

A bonus point victory would all but ensure Droitwich claim back-to-back league titles and promotion to Midlands One West, a thought which is exciting the players.

“I have heard lots of different connotations but as far as I am aware it’s all done and dusted if we beat them with a bonus point,” said Shewell.

“The opportunity to win the league at our biggest league rivals is something which is exciting the players.

“We beat them at our place earlier in the season so it will be a different test for us at Spring Lane.

“However, all the pressure on them but it is important we are mentally prepared for the game.”

There was little to choose between Droitwich and York in a tense semi-final played on a gluepot pitch at the Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground after the heavy rain.

York started well and took the lead after eight minutes with a converted try but the Monners reduced the deficit when Sean Walker went over for an unconverted score.

Jon Davies then slotted a penalty to nose the visitors further ahead.

Droitwich equalised on the stroke of half-time when Phil Horton crossed the whitewash for another unconverted try.

York regained the lead six minutes after the break through Steve Johnson but back came Droitwich as Pete Knight and Josh Skinner touched down to put the hosts ahead.

Brad Cook converted both.

York then hit back with a converted try with eight minutes to go but Droitwich held firm to claim victory.

“The scoreline was closer than we would have liked but we managed the game well to get over the line,” said Shewell.

“York were the best team we have faced this season and all credit for them for giving it a really good go.

“I don’t think getting the chance to play at Twickenham again has not quite sunk in yet but all the fans are looking forward to another exciting day out.”

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