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‘Full-blooded’ derby next
10:44am Friday 25th January 2013 in Sport
NICK Tisdale has reported a clean bill of health for his Malvern side ahead of tomorrow’s short trip down the M5 for the National Three South-West local derby with Old Patesians.
The Malvern head coach has been without the likes of Antonio Harris, Jack Cosgrove, Nick Miller and Ryan Watkins in recent weeks, but they are all available for the clash in Cheltenham.
Due to the wintry weather, the Spring Lane side have not played since their 24-3 loss at in-form Westonsuper-Mare on January 12 and Tisdale is hoping there are no signs of rustiness.
He said: “There is due to be a pitch inspection this morning, but Old Pats are confident the game will go ahead and we have prepared all week as if it will be on.
“We have trained really hard in the indoor facility at Malvern College and the boys have done some hardcore fitness and circuits to keep them ticking over.
“We just need to get some games under our belts to help develop our consistency.
“We matched Westonsuper-Mare in most departments at their place last time out, but just made a couple of mistakes in each half which cost us the game and it was a shame not to take something from it.
“Weston are the form side in the league and we pushed them hard, so if we can just get some consistency to our play, we will be a difficult side to beat.
”Malvern beat Old Pats at Spring Lane in the league earlier this season before I was at the club and, because they are a few points ahead of us in the league, it’s safe to say if will be a full-blooded local derby.”
Tisdale added: “We could have done with playing last weekend because our players are a little bit rusty if we don’t have games, but we are definitely moving in the right direction — on and off the field.
“Rob Cook has been working hard with the backs, while Peter Walton and I have been concentrating on the forwards.”
Old Patesians are just seven points ahead opf Malvern in the table, but they go into tomorrow’s game on the back of a 44-18 home defeat to league-leaders London Irish Wild Geese, which followed a 29-11 loss at Exmouth.