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Thursday, 20 November 2014

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Whitehaven's Wilson pips Hamzat for place against Doncaster

Martyn Wilson has pipped flyer Loz Hamzat for a place in the Whitehaven team to travel to Doncaster in tomorrow’s league opener (3pm) after a storming effort against Barrow last week.

Martyn Wilson photo
Martyn Wilson

The powerful three-quarter did not feature in any of Haven’s first three Northern Rail Cup games.

But coach Don Gailer had warned ahead of the Raiders game that places were up for grabs for the Championship One launch.

And full-back Shane Ackerley and prop Matthew Haggerty, another two who made their seasonal debuts against Barrow, have also earned return tickets after impressive displays.

“Martyn Wilson looked strong last week, apart from one early defensive lapse, which he acknowledged,” Gailer said.

“After that, he made some strong runs for us. He has really done a lot of work to build himself up while maintaining his speed.

“It’s also good to see Shane Ackerley get a shot. It was a really hard decision between him and Jonny Youds, who has done really well up to date.”

Youds will instead feature on the wing for Craig Calvert, who suffered a neck injury against Barrow, while centre Scott McAvoy has failed to recover from a knee problem and second-row Lee Doran is suspended.

“Scott was not confident at all about the knee and it’s too early in the year to take a risk,” said the coach, who is confident Haven can take one of the four promotion slots on offer this term.

“Craig Calvert has limited movement in his neck and he’s so disappointed to miss out. But you only have one neck and you can’t risk it.

“We have a long road trip and playing a team that’s probably right up there with the favourites, I was very impressed with their Northern Rail Cup campaign, and it’s really stiff opposition first up.

“This club’s No 1 goal since I got here was promotion. Mine was to do well in all competitions, and the Northern Rail Cup was a bit disappointing.

“But there was only one poor game in there, and with the bounce of the ball and a little more focus, we could still be in there.”

Whitehaven: Ackerley, Youds, Wilson, Wiper, Bauer, Rudd, Karalius, Houghton, Smith, Varkulis, Isakka, Beattie, Crellin. Subs: Sice, Haggerty, Cullnean, Bewsher.

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