IT has been a long, hard season for Washington.
One pre-season win and one league win has not done anything to boost spirits.
However, the decision to withdraw from Durham and Northumberland Division Three seems to be paying dividends, as, with the league pressure off, the team is playing far better and this had led to the recruitment of three new players.
A narrow 5-0 defeat to South Tyneside College in the County Vase semi-final and last week’s 17-14 defeat to an experienced Sunderland thirds shows that Washington have perhaps found their level with Durham Junior League teams.
This week sees the visit of Bishop Auckland seconds, another Junior League opponent next season.
A few of Washington’s experienced backs are missing, allowing Neil Young to experiment with a new half-back combination of youngsters Liam Anderson and Steven Talbot.
Fly-half Alan Telford will move to outside centre to accommodate the change.
Washington (home to Bishop Auckland) from: Cosby, Spencer, Dover, Robson, Sykes, Cummings, Rawkins, Tate, Ewart, Anderson, Talbot, Routledge, Telford, Aston, Hall, Lawrence, Middleton, Cornell, Newton.