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Shrewsbury facing a crunch clash in relegation fight

By Nick Elwell | Rugby | Published:

Shrewsbury chief Simon Evitts took heart from his side’s defeat to high-flying Camp Hill ahead of this weekend’s crunch relegation clash.

Shrewsbury facing a crunch clash in relegation fight

The Sundorne Castle men fell to their eighth defeat from nine Midlands 2 West contests this season as the Birmingham visitors ran out 42-12 victors.

The latest reverse left Evitts troops bottom but the player-coach admitted he took positives from aspects of his side’s game.

Rock-bottom Shrewsbury face a massive game on Saturday in the fight for survival as they head to Crewe & Nantwich for the penultimate clash of 2019.

“It’s a real chance for us,” Evitts said of the trip to Cheshire. “We know how big it is, we’ve been eyeing up the importance for a while now. I don’t want to say it but it’s nearly cup final stage to get that win before Christmas.

“We go on the back of some of the phases and parts of our game from last weekend. I took quite a bit of heart and strength from the game. A couple of weeks ago we’d have folded and took a tanking but we played some nice rugby at times.

“This is our chance to get a win around a team around us. It’s a big target of ours and a massive chance, we can’t let them get to four wins, but we know there’s still a long way to go.

“We’re starting to look a little more set. We started the season a little rag-tag but we’re getting a few more players back.”

Jamie Clare and Liam Deery managed Shrewsbury’s tries against promotion-targetting Camp Hill at Sundorne, the latter after stunningly skilful build-up by Lewis Hodnett.

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Shrews were a man light at times with Rob Sankey and Rhys Davies in the sin bin.

But Evitts confessed the visitors showed why they are fighting it out at the top of the standings.

“We tackled well and did well on set-pieces but we gave them an inch and they’d take a mile,” Evitts added. “It’s the sign of a side in the top two or three. They did well in different areas.

“I’m proud of how the lads played and we know the areas we’ve got to improve but there is a good foundation we can take into this weekend.”

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Shrewsbury remain without skipper Jon Bucknall until the new year owing to a neck injury.

Crewe & Nantwich are just two places and eight points better off than Shrewsbury having won three games.

They are the boyhood club of twin stars, England’s Tom Curry and brother Ben. “I’m hoping they are not playing the weekend!” Evitts said.

Nick Elwell

By Nick Elwell
Grassroots Sports Editor

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