Rugby preview: Horden v Guisborough

PUR-FECT APPROACH: Chris Purvis attacks for Horden at Durham City
PUR-FECT APPROACH: Chris Purvis attacks for Horden at Durham City

HORDEN face one of their last major hurdles of the season tomorrow when Guisborough visit Welfare Park.

But head coach Glenn Bowman believes it is one his side can clear by beating the North Yorkshire side (kick-off 2.15pm).

Guisborough come to Northumberland Street in good nick in third in the Durham Northumberland One – they would have been second but for a five-point deduction.

They also have a handsome 36-17 win over Horden earlier this season in their memory bank and their current form is good –four straight victories this year after finishing 2013 with a defeat at Hartlepool Rovers.

Guis have won the same amount of games as the leaders, 14 each, and given their strength is in the forwards, the too teams paper appear evenly matched.

But Horden seem to be at another level at this time, the 31-3 win at Durham City last being as comprehensive a success as you could get.

“Everyone committed to the cause against City,” Bowman told SportMail.

“Our defence was spot on. I want to see that same team ethic tomorrow.

“We’ll create chances, we need to make sure our decision-making is good and we take the opportunites when they come along.”

Bowman felt his side allowed themselves to be “bullied” out of it at Belmangate but does not expect a repeat tomorrow.

“It’s a big weekend – we’ve got Guisborough and Blyth have Darlo, so it could be interesting at the top depending how the results go,” he said.

“Guis are pushing hard and they put in a good performance last week so it’s going to be a good battle.

“Down there we did well to get back all square after going behind early then allowed them back in front with a soft try.

“To be honest we were bullied up front in the second half but I don’t expect that this week.”

Bowman names the XV that started against City.

That means Richie Thirkell continues at loose-head and Steve Heckles at hooker, both having good performances at Hollow Drift.

Michael Thompson is joined on the bench by Carl Brown and Michael Turner, who’ve both been impressing for the seconds.