- Cheshire to face Kent in semi-final
- Form book upsets underpin confidence
Cheshire will be looking to draw confidence from two outstanding displays en route to the last four of the National Under 20 Competition when they entertain Kent in this season’s semi-finals at Sale FC’s Heywood Road ground on Sunday, April 21 (ko 2.15pm).
The Wheatsheaf side first put down a marker that they might be a force to be reckoned with when they defeated defending champions Yorkshire 28-5 at Wilmslow RFC and having qualified for the quarter-finals by finishing behind Lancashire in the Northern group, they then added the scalp of last season’s beaten finalists Gloucestershire with a famous 24-17 victory at Cinderford.
That victory in Gloucestershire’s own backyard was a real boost for the Cheshire squad, although they have been doing their homework diligently enough to recognise that they are probably stepping up another level when they take on the men from the South East.
While Cheshire have one player in the England Counties Under 20s squad to visit Georgia in May – Caldy’s David Jones – Kent have five players who not only made the Counties party, but also helped the London & South East team to victory in the recent inter-divisional weekend games at Welbeck College.
“We are hugely excited to be in the semi-final and to be playing at Heywood Road,” said Cheshire coach Giles Heagarty. “Beating both of last year's finalists on our way here is a feather in our cap, but in reality it means nothing.
“Kent are a team that have put up some big scores and clearly want to play rugby. The fact that they have five players in the England Counties squad shows their pedigree and we will need to be at our best to match them. I have no doubt it will be an enthralling game."
After losing Jack Wise (Altrincham Kersal) to injury while on club duty last Saturday, Cheshire have drafted in George Drury from Macclesfield.
Cheshire Under 20s
Marcus Webber (Clifton)
Louis Taylor (Altrincham Kersal)
Mike Barlow (Stockport)
Mike Kaciubskyi (Stockport)
Billy Woof (Birkenhead Park)
Ollie McCall (Wilmslow)
Callum Yates (Altrincham Kersal)
Mark Williams (Wilmslow)
Nathan Rushton (Birkenhead Park)
Tom Concu (Sandbach)
Ben Jones (Wilmslow)
Fraser Smail (Caldy)
Mike Finnemore (Macclesfield)
Josh Longson (Sandbach) capt
David Jones (Caldy)
Max Harvey (Wilmslow)
Simon Currie (Stockport)
Josh Woods (Altrincham Kersal)
George Drury (Macclesfield)
Tom Sanders (Caldy)
Ryan Higginson (Wirral)
Owain Phillips (Chester Uni)
James O’Rourke (Altrincham Kersal)
Alexi Mouarkach (Caldy)