BAC aiming for 'big' win in battle to keep relegation scrap at bay
BAC have a double incentive for wanting to do well at home to Cheltenham Civil Service tomorrow in their final Gloucester Two outing of the year.
Victory over their relegation rivals would open up an important gap between BAC and the bottom two, and also ensure that the club's post-match Christmas party goes off with plenty of festive spirit.
Things are certainly starting to look up for the Filton-based outfit, who began the league campaign with seven successive losses.
Captain Ian Dinwiddie said: "We finished third last season, just missing promotion, and were hoping to push on again this time round.
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"But four teams ended up being relegated into our division and it soon became apparent that we were playing in a much different – and far tougher – environment."
BAC halted the slide with a hard-earned 15-14 home defeat of Bredon Star only to then suffer a disappointing 32-18 reverse at St Brendan's.
But everything came right last weekend with a 36-0 triumph at Cainscross. Centre Ash Bowman bagged a hat-trick with blindside Dinwiddie and Clement Dubos also touching down, while Sam Shepherd booted three penalties and a conversion.
Dinwiddie added: "I don't think we did anything very different from the rest of the season, though we did have to make several very late changes to the team, and dealing with those challenges made the success all the sweeter.
"We've now got a very big game against Civil Service, and it would be great to get a win, enjoy the Christmas dinner and come back fresh again in the new year."
In National Two South, Dings Crusaders have it all to do when they bid to end a run of four successive defeats with the visit of leaders Henley (2.30pm).
There are two changes from the side that lost 32-23 last weekend at Shelford. In the backs, Rob Dempsey comes in at centre with Marcus Brooker reverting to the bench, and up front Vince Murrell starts at No 8 with Mike Uren on the blindside and his brother Steve named as a replacement.
Clifton, fresh from their remarkable 52-50 home defeat against Chinnor, are assembling at 7.30am for their trip to promotion-chasing Redruth, who are fourth.
Weston-super-Mare, who last weekend inflicted a first defeat of the campaign on National Three South West leaders London Irish, will be led by Dave Burge in their away clash with bottom side Maidenhead, who have conceded an average of 59 points a match to date.
It's another big day for Avonmouth, who are away to Amersham & Chiltern.
Grant Britton's side have won four of their last five outings to move up to 11th and will be keen to end the year on a real high with a victory against the Buckinghamshire side, who are three points ahead of them in tenth position and who pinched a 23-22 success at Barracks Lane in September.
Old Reds, meanwhile, bid to make it eight in a row in South West One West – and avenge a painful reverse at the start of the season – when they visit Chard.
No 8 Dan Fry is not available, so Max Woodward lines up in the back row with skipper Jed Hooper and Sean Fox. Oli Long is named at loosehead with the versatile Dave Harris back on the bench.