Ahead of the weekend’s matches across the grassroots rugby scene in Nottinghamshire, we take a look back at the opening weeks of the regional campaigns, clubs having already up half a dozen matches apiece since kicking off in early September.
Keyworth RFC, down in Counties 3 Midlands East (Central), which houses half-a-down of the county’s twenty clubs, have racked up a six-match winning streak, leading the early standings from the likes of West Bridgford IIs and Paviors IIs, who help make up the top four sides.
Already they have collected two shut-out victories from their six games, but have plundered some 283 points, and a points difference of +260; victories thus far has seen them defeat Sleaford 52-0, North Hykeham (h/w), Mellish IIs 58-3, Nottinghamians 78-0, Rolls Royce 57-5, and Southwell 38-15.
In the upper echelons of the grassroots scene, in the Regional 2 Midlands North, three of the four Nottinghamshire clubs there, West Bridgford (5), Newark (6) and Paviors (8), have all won three, lost three, of their opening six outings.
Of their opening outings, West Bridgford have enjoyed derby successes over Mellish, 59-38 (a, 09/09), and whitewashing Newark, 54-0 (h, 29/09); Newark defeated visiting Paviors 31-19 (h, 23/9); and Paviors narrowly saw off Mellish 24-21 (h, 02/09).
Against Mellish, Gareth Kerr crossed for two tries in the opening half hour, whilst Calum Gunn claimed a try and seven conversions, WB registering nine tries in total; meanwhile, in the whitewash of Newark and William Greenwood cross three times in the opening half hour to set them on their way, a further five tries being added, including another for Gunn who also kicked another six conversions.
Mellish meanwhile are third bottom, with zero wins from their six outings thus far, and having shipped 229 points and just Wolverhampton, and Sutton Coldfield, beneath them in the table.
Mansfield (5) and Southwell (6) are resident in the Counties 1 Midlands East (North) division, both clubs in the top half of the division with three wins and three losses apiece after the opening six matches ahead of this weekend’s derby.
Nottingham Casuals (3) and Nottingham Moderns (4) are challenging at the top end of the Counties 2 Midlands East (North), the former having won four and drawn one, the latter with five wins, from their six outings to date.
Of their successes to date, Casuals have seen off Ashfield 28-10 (a, 02/09), and Newark IIs 61-19 (h, 14/10), whilst Moderns have beaten Newark IIs 32-17 (h, 09/09), and Ashfield 22-10 (a, 16/09); elsewhere in the division Ashfield are sitting eighth with a pair of successes, and Newark IIs are tenth following one win and one draw so far.
Another four Notts clubs reside in the Counties 3 Midlands East (North), three of the four having registered wins this campaign – Meden Vale (6) have four on the board, East Retford (8) have three, and Ollerton (9) two, whilst Worksop are propping up the 12-team division having lost all six outings.
Of their six losses, one was a 48-0 whitewash against Meden Vale (16/09), and the other a 35-14 defeat against East Retford (07/10) in what has been a tough campaign thus far.
Back in the Counties 3 Midlands East (Central) division, and beneath the undefeated Keyworth, are West Bridgford IIs (2), and Paviors IIs (4) filling out the top four, WB and Pavs both having won four outings each; Southwell IIs (6) have three wins, three losses, with Mellish IIs (10) and Nottingahmians (12) in the bottom three.
WEEKEND FIXTURES (21 OCTOBER 2023) (Notts clubs in BOLD)
REGIONAL 2 MIDLANDS NORTH
Lichfield vs. Newark, Mellish vs. Walsall, Paviors vs. Sutton Coldfield, West Bridgford vs. Melbourne
COUNTIES 2 MIDLANDS EAST (NORTH)
Mansfield vs. Southwell
COUNTIES 2 MIDLANDS EAST (NORTH)
(20) Ashby vs. Nottingham Moderns; (21) Grimsby vs. Ashfield, Kesteven vs. Nottingham Casuals, Newark vs. Ashbourne
COUNTIES 3 MIDLANDS EAST (NORTH)
Dronfield IIs vs. Worksop, Meden Vale vs. Cleethorpes
COUNTIES 3 MIDLANDS EAST (CENTRAL)
Ashbourne IIs vs. Keyworth, Long Eaton vs. West Bridgford IIs, Melbourne IIs vs. Paviors IIs, Nottinghamians vs. Sleaford, Rolls Royce vs. Mellish IIs, Southwell IIs vs. North Hykeham.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @Pavsscoreline Paviors v Mellish an all Notts derby which the home side won by 3pts.