Doncaster Knights: Title race ‘is not over yet’

Jamie Lennard is set to replace Paul Roberts at 10.
Jamie Lennard is set to replace Paul Roberts at 10.

Clive Griffiths believes the door is still to slam shut on the National One title race as league leaders Doncaster Knights prepare to return to action tomorrow.

With an eight-point cushion at the top of the table and just five games remaining, the Knights can dare to dream about an instant return to the Championship.

Standing in their path, however, is a nuisance that will just not go away in second-place Rosslyn Park, who welcome the Knights to their own patch next Saturday.

The first challenge at hand though is Old Albanian at Castle Park tomorrow and Griffiths has urged his troops to play with nerveless abandon as the promotion race continues to heat up.

“We know where we are and we’ve got to get 18 points out of a possible 25 – that’s the reality of what we need to do,” said Griffiths.

“It is about keeping the other teams at arm’s length, as we’ve found out already this year it can turn so quickly.

“Rosslyn Park lost to Blaydon one week, then we lost to Fylde the next and it all went back to normal. It’s a war of attrition.

“We’ve done our homework on Old Albanians, they had a great win against Blaydon last week.

“They play a high tempo game and are dangerous as they’re in a situation where they can’t get relegated and they can’t get promoted – there’s no pressure on them.

“They can just go out there and play their footy and that’s what I want my boys to do, you can’t play that way if you’re clammed up and tight.

“It’s going to be a great game.”

He added: “We have got the buffer and that’s all it is.

“The Rosslyn Park game will be the defining moment I’m sure but we have got another three games after that too.”

On the injury front there are few worries for Griffiths to contend with – which he admits is a far cry from the situation just two months ago.

“We have covered all bases now, we are working our hooker Ben Hunter back into action,” he added.

“Paul Roberts has a niggle on his knee so he won’t risk him for Saturday but we have Jamie Lennard who is a great man to step in at 10.

“We are OK, touch wood, compared to what we were like in early January when we played Fylde.

“We had a man out in every position in the forwards but we’ve regrouped and won every game since then.”

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