03:30PM, Friday 21 February 2020
Maidenhead’s head coach David Mobbs-Smith has admitted his side will need help from their league rivals if they’re to overhaul Barnstaple for the league title.
However, he firmly believes a play-off spot for finishing second is within their grasp as they look ahead to Saturday’s home game against Okehampton, and crucial games against the top two, Weston-super-Mare (February 29) and Barnstaple (March 7) in the following weeks.
Maids are currently third in the table, just a point behind Weston who have played a game less.
However, whoever shows the most consistency in the coming weeks, as the top sides all battle with each other, could be sitting pretty at the top come the middle of March.
Results fell nicely for Maids at the weekend as Barnstaple lost 17-10 at Ivybridge and missed the chance to put further distance between themselves and the chasing pack.
“The results went as well as they could have gone,” said Mobbs-Smith. “It has kept us competitive and fighting for a play-off place, that second place.
“That’s in our own hands. We’ve got to go out and achieve that but it’s in our own grasp.
“We’ll need some outside help to catch Barnstaple though.
“However, they’ve come back closer to us (following the weekend’s results), so it’s all up in the air.”
The upcoming games will have a major bearing on the title race and run in for the promotion places, but Mobbs-Smith is confident his side can hold their nerve as the pressure ramps up.
“These are crucial games coming up for us,” he said. “After Weston we’ve got Barnstaple at home. These games will be crucial to where we finish this season.
“Every team has to be treated with respect but these next few are crucial to us staying competitive.
“At the moment it looks like it will go down to the last weekend, and, as long as we keep winning the majority of our matches that will be the case. We all have some tricky matches coming up because we’ve all got to play each other.
“If one team manages to win all of their matches it will change the face of the run in. Win those matches and we could move to within a point of Barnstaple at least, because they’ve got to win their other games as well. That’s the beauty of it.
“We can only deal with what’s in our hands. From a fan’s perspective it’s fascinating trying to work out who’s going to beat who, but the reality is we have to treat these matches as knock out games, and must try to win, or pick up as many bonus points as we can, to stay in the hunt.”
Top Ten Articles
Members of staff at Wexham Park Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus, and the elderly care ward affected has been closed to new admissions for two weeks.