Rugby union: Focus switches to overall honours in Eastern Counties League
PUBLISHED: 14:38 25 January 2018
Mike Wyatt ABIPP
The Eastern Counties One North season concludes at the weekend with champions Fakenham entertaining Norwich Medics in a re-arranged game - but there are still plenty of matches to be played.
From Saturday week the attention will be switching to regional supremacy, with Fakenham battling it with teams from the two other sections of the league for overall honours.
Together with North Walsham Raiders they will be taking on the top two from the West and South divisions both home and away to decide who will be in line for promotion to London Three Eastern Counties next season.
All eight of the Eastern Counties North teams will be involved in the process, with the third and fourth teams (Diss Saracens and Norwich Union) taking on their South and West counterparts, and so on.
Fakenham’s main challenge for the Eastern Counties Shield title is likely to come from South champions Ipswich YM, who won 13 of their 14 games. West champions Thurston boast a less impressive record, having lost three games while pipping Shelford thirds to the title by two points.
Fakenham resume their bid for promotion on Saturday, February 3 when they play host to South runners-up Hadleigh. In other games Norwich Walsham Raiders host Shelford III and Ipswich YM are at home to Thurston.
Weather permitting the final fixtures will be played on April 21, by which time all the teams will have played 22 times overall.
In the Eastern Counties Plate for the third and fourth teams Diss Saracens and Norwich Union will be joined by Ipswich II, Colchester III, Cottenham Renegades and Cambridge Adventurers.
Norwich Union will host Ipswich II and Diss Saracens will entertain Cambridge Adventurers in the opening fixtures next weekend.
The Bowl competition features Norwich Medics, Beccles, Brightlingsea, Sudbury II, Bury St Edmunds III and Cantabrigian II while the Salver for the lowest ranked teams will involve Swaffham, Great Yarmouth-Broadland, Stowmarket II, Mistley, Saffron Walden II and Haverhill.