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That Friday Feeling – 15th September 2023

After last week’s match against a strong Leicester Tigers side at Welford Road, this week Caldy return to Paton Field in the second round of the Premiership Cup against more familiar opponents in Ampthill.

Despite being on the wrong end of the scoreline, Caldy’s Head Coach Matt Cairns was pleased with last week’s performance. “For 50 or 60 minutes we put up a real fight against a strong Premiership side but in the last 15 minutes the conditioning of the Tigers told. We need to build depth in the squad so for this week’s match against Ampthill we will making some changes.”

Last week’s 1st xv match was played in unseasonal sweltering conditions which as Caldy supporter Barrie Pilgrim explained, adversely affected most of the squad and the travelling supporters. “It was a tremendous atmosphere at Welford Road with a big crowd of 14,000 mostly behind the Tigers but there were a few hundred travelling Caldy fans making a lot of noise. It was a great occasion but so so hot! It affected nearly everyone at Welford Road apart from myself and Nick Royle because of course we are both cool guys.”

Conditions at Paton Field will be a lot more amenable this weekend and Caldy will need a big home crowd to help them get their first win in the Premiership Cup.

Caldy and Ampthill have enjoyed a close rivalry in both the National Leagues and in the Championship with games between the sides always being closely fought. The clubs are probably the most similar in the Championship with both espousing similar rugby values and both having similar unique home grounds. This season there is an even closer connection with former Ampthill players, prop Joe Sprotson and hooker Matt Gallagher, becoming Ravers and this Saturday starting for Caldy against their former club.

Matt Cairns has selected the following squad for Saturday’s 1st XV fixture against Ampthill at Paton Field which kicks off at 3 pm.

1. A. Aigbokhae
2. M Gallagher
3. J Sprotson
4. T. Sanders
5. C Atkinson
6. S Olyott

7. N Davidson

8. JJ Dickinson

9. C Pilgrim

10. S Rogers

11. E Edwards

12. M Barlow

13. C Wilkinson

14. M Cartmill

15. R Hayes


16. R Higginson

17. O Hearn

18. N Rushton

19. M Gerrard

20. C Ridgway

21. J Murray

22. L Barker

23 M. Kilcourse

Caldy’s 2nd xv are also in action this Saturday at Paton Field against Lymm in the Cotton Traders Premier League. The 2nd xv match kicks off at 2 pm

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