RUGBY: Swindon's season ending too soon
5:30am Friday 14th March 2014 in By Tom Bassam, Chief sports writer
Swindon captain Adam Westall feels like their season has ended a bit too soon.
A difficult spell following the Christmas break where the Greenbridge Road side won just two of six games has seen them slide into the middle of the table.
The weather has been a factor. Rain has not just restricted Swindon to only four games in the year’s opening couple of months but it’s also affected the way Westall and his teammates play. Known for their ball-in-hand style Swindon have had to resort to the boot more than they would like in a bid to adapt to the conditions.
Last Saturday Swindon notched an impressive win over third-placed Windsor with Nick Warren returning from long-term injury to put an impressive performance. Westall believes the returning players and some of the new faces who have stepped up in their absence will make Swindon stronger in the long run.
“We’ve got guys who have been out are coming back and we have got some guys coming into form.
“Mike Thompson stepped in as pack leader, he stood up last week [at Towcestrians] and seeing these young guys like Matty Broadbent competing with the guys at top of the league that gives us real belief going forward.
“Sam Wells has been injured, Steve Tait had been in Australia, it’s a shame it’s at the end of the season as we’re getting back to full strength.
“Though we’ve built a foundation that will see us through for the next season with these younger guys coming through.”
Swindon face three of the league’s bottom four in the coming weeks and four of their six remaining games are at Greenbridge Road so Westall thinks that his side can finish with strong series of wins.
“We turned over the third best in the league quite comprehensively to be honest. Now we’re targetting those games [against the bottom sides] and we know that four out of the six games left are at home so we’ve got a good chance of finishing well.
Elsewhere title-chasing Supermarine face Melksham this weekend. A win would take Sean Millwaters’ side top of Dorset & Wilts 1 North.
Millwaters knows that in doing so his side would take over as the division’s number one target, a position Marine have enjoyed the benefits of other teams being in.
“Now we’re down to five games and if we win all five we win the league.
“For me it’s about winning the game, it’ll be nice to go top, but when you’re on top you’re back on the radar, whereas we have been off the radar.”
In Southern Counties North Royal Wootton Bassett look to bounce back from their heavy defeat against Aylesbury at home to Reading Abbey, a win would see them cimb one place in the table to seventh.
Swindon College Old Boys face ffith-placed High Wycombe at Pipers Way. With relegation already confirmed Old Boys’ remaining fixtures are an exercise in gaining experience and rebuilding for next season.