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High-flying Old Centralians looking to march on at top of South West One East

All Areas > Sport > Rugby League

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 14:10

Old Centralians celebrate winning the North Gloucestershire Combination Senior Cup in May. Picture, Shaun Lafferty Old Centralians celebrate winning the North Gloucestershire Combination Senior Cup in May. Picture, Shaun Lafferty

Old Centralians head to Oxford Harlequins on Saturday looking to keep their noses in front at the top of what is a very competitive South West One East.

Just two points separate the top three, with Royal Wootton Bassett a point behind the leaders in second place and Banbury a further point adrift in third.

All three would like to go into Christmas on top of the table – there is another round of matches on Saturday 21st December – but Old Cents have the momentum after moving above Royal Wootton Bassett at the weekend.

“It’s looking good,” said Old Cents president and lifelong supporter Martin Slatter. “We’re very pleased with the way things are going.

“It’s not easy because there are some good teams about. Just because a team is in the middle of the table or in the bottom half doesn’t mean they aren’t good.

“The players are beating what’s in front of them and the couple of losses that we’ve had were close games.”

Old Cents took over at the top after defeating Old Patesians 46-8 three days ago while Royal Wootton Bassett were losing 28-13 at mid-table Chippenham.

Banbury were also able to take closer order at the top as they thumped lowly Trowbridge 104-3 so there’s all to play for over the next few weeks and months as the teams approach the halfway point in the season.

Fourth-placed Oxford Harlequins – nine points off the pace – will be no pushovers for Cents on Saturday however although the home side will face a stern challenge against a club who have strength in depth.

“Last season we won all three Combination Cups,” added Slatter, “and what’s really pleasing is that this season we’re regularly putting out a 2nd XV.

“That’s something we’ve wanted to do and they’re a good team. We’ve almost got two 1st XVs which is really good news.”

Royal Wootton Bassett host fifth-placed Marlborough, narrow winners over Old Cents last month, on Saturday while Banbury travel to 10th-placed Wimborne.

On the final Saturday before Christmas, Old Cents entertain bottom-of-the-table Salisbury, Royal Wootton Bassett travel to Old Pats, who are 11th in the 14-strong division, and Banbury visit sixth-placed Buckingham.

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