10:00am Friday 17th January 2014
IT’S a crunch weekend in the Championship as clubs scramble to avoid being involved in a relegation dogfight, writes Chris Kirwan.
With two teams dropping to Division One, a hugely important clash takes place at Glan-yr-Afon Park where 12th-placed Blackwood host bottom club Bonymaen.
A home win would build at least a six-point buffer for the Gwent outfit but an away success would see the west Walians leapfrog their hosts.
Bonymaen are having a tough season and were unable to fulfil their Swalec Cup, round one tie against Newport at Rodney Parade on Tuesday because of injuries.
Blackwood, who prepared for a key clash with a tough friendly against Premiership side Neath last weekend, desperately need to add to their visitors’ woes.
Newbridge, edged out by Tata Steel last Saturday, will aim to stretch away from the basement battle when they turn out at the Welfare Ground for the first time in 2014.
Beddau head to Gwent on a seven-match losing streak that includes defeats at Ebbw Vale (in the Swalec Cup), Pontypool and Blackwood.
Tenth-placed ‘Bridge, who are nine points clear of their visitors, will be breathing a lot easier if they extend that unwanted run.
At the other end of the table Ebbw will take another step towards confirming the inevitable if they maintain their winning streak at second-placed Narberth.
The Steelmen have won all 14 of their league games to earn a 22-point lead and it’s a matter of time before they secure promotion back to the Premiership.
If Ebbw make it a perfect 15 then Pontypool will hope to be in second spot when the table is printed in Monday’s Argus sport supplement.
They host Llanharan tomorrow and aim to stretch a five-match unbeaten streak in the league.
Pooler had to settle for a share of the spoils in the mud at Bridgend Athletic last weekend and are gunning for revenge after being overturned 21-6 at the Dairy Field in September.
Other fixtures: Cardiff Met v RGC 1404, Tata v Bargoed, Tondu v Bridgend Athletic
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