A couple of shoddy weeks has seen Matt fall behind and he needs to claw back a couple. Could Round 13 provide this opportunity!
Melbourne take the trip to Lincoln who will be buoyed by their win at Matlock last week. University additions together with a couple of returnees only adds to Lincoln’s form and unbeaten run at home. Should be a great game. No predictions as usual.
The weather is staying kind and all pitches should be in good condition. The other fixtures bring up some real humdingers with all the teams very close in the table, in a league where anyone can beat anyone on their day. Will home advantage help?
Ashby v Southwell.
A battle between the bottom 2. Southwell beat Long Eaton before Christmas but came down to earth at home last week. Ashby should have enough at home, despite their recent poor form. Pete predicting an Ashby win. Matt would like to see Southwell strike a rare win here but unfortunately he can't gamble with his recent poor form having backfired - home win!
Dronfield v Ashbourne
Tough game to call. Battle of the bashers, with two big packs and powerful backs this should provide a physical game. Their first meeting saw Ashbourne edge a game with 89 points. Ashbourne’s recent form is slightly better but any away trip is tricky. Pete favouring home advantage for a Dronfield win in another close game.
Despite Matt largely agreeing with Pete he is going to back the Derbyshire outfit to spite Pete and try to claw a valuable point back. The journey is not far and the Ashbournite’s should be able to copy with the trip.
Ilkeston v Newark
Ilkeston in the bottom 3 and struggling for wins. Newark will be buoyed after their win against Dronfield. Will home advantage tell though? Pete does not think so and sees a Newark win here. Hmmm, following last weeks performance Matt does not understand how Ilkeston are a bottom 3 club. They have the means to be a competitive force in Mids 2 - however, Newark are a solid team that when they find there form can beat most. Newark to edge this one (or a draw ;-)) - sorry Pete I am claiming that to).
Long Eaton v Matlock
Matlock beat Long Eaton well at their Cromford Meadows meeting, but Long Eaton have improved a lot since then and are currently sitting second in the table and will be buoyed after a strong win at Market Rasen. Home advantage to tell for Long Eaton and Pete sees a home win here. Matt agrees - the small blip against Southwell should not detract from a club that is scoring many a point - largely from driving mauls but with the weather staying kind it should be Eatons day.
Loughborough v Market Rasen
A long trip for Market Rasen who have struggled in the last 4 games after a good start to the season. Loughborough have been good at home all season and Pete predicting a home win in a tight game. Can Rasen change their run of form having slumped in recent weeks? Loughborough have utilised their strengths well and again this will be a close score. Loughborough may have the edge and physicality to pip this one.
So just the 1 difference and Matt after a point back if Ilkeston draw against Newark.
Updated 18:07 - 12 Jan 2019 by Peter Ilott