5 games into the 2017/2018 season and Old Tiffs are already facing an uphill battle. Currently sitting in 9th position, they are 15 points adrift from league leaders Old Emanuel and more worryingly only 2 points clear of the relegation zone. The bottom three places are currently occupied by Basingstoke (5 losses from 5 and 0 points) Weybridge Vandals (1 win from 5 and 1 point) and New Milton & District (1 win from 5 and 7 points). Tiffs host NMD this weekend in what could be seen as an early season relegation 10 pointer.
NMD, having finished 2nd in Hampshire 1 last season, have struggled on their return to the London leagues, with a solitary win against foot of the table Basingstoke on the opening day of the campaign. Their results are perhaps not reflective of their play however, as they have worked hard in every game so far, only seemingly to be undone in small patches, for example the final quarter away at Warlingham in their last game.
The effort they put in can be seen in the Points For column in the league table as they have scored 123 points this season, an average of 24.6 per game, and in fact 18 more than Tiffs have. Unfortunately, similarly to OTs, it has been their defence that has let the Hampshire side down, conceding 166 ( 33.2 per game). This is still 3 points less than Tiffs however and so the statistics tell us that the visitors are favourites this weekend.
Not only will NMD travel to Grists full of confidence based on results this season, they will remember that they were victorious when the sides last met in February 2016. Of the Tiffs side that played that day, Bannell, Fawcett, Jang and Unwin remain available this weekend and ready to make amends. Coach Blackers certainly hopes that the memory of the previous (and to date only) defeat Tiffs have faced at the hands of NMD will serve as a motivation for the boys on Saturday "Last time we met New Milton & District was 2 seasons ago when we narrowly lost at their place. There are a few survivors from that squad who will be looking for revenge on Saturday".
The boys in purple and white will no doubt know that they will be in for a battle this weekend. The chance to get their season back on track and get revenge for the defeat back in 2016 is there, can they stand up and take it?
KO 3pm at Grists Memorial Ground
Previous meeting 20.02.2016 - New Milton & District 29 v 27 Old Tiffinians (London 3 SW) (L)
14.11.2015 - Old Tiffinians 37 v 10 New Milton & District (London 3 SW) (W)
07.02.2015 - Old Tiffinians 33 v 29 New Milton & District (London 3 SW) (W)
25.10.2014 - New Milton & District 10 v 32 Old Tiffinians (London 3 SW) (W)
Old Tiffs - LLLWL
New Milton & District - WLLLL
Full Fixtures for Round 6 London South West 3
Away from the bottom of the table battle at Grists, Ironsides v Trojans is probably the stand out fixture in Round 6 as 5th hosts 4th in the league. With Old Emanuel hosting Basingstoke, it looks likely that they will remain on top of the league at 5pm on Saturday afternoon, but positions 7 to 4 could all move depending on results.
At the bottom, only a NMD victory could see them swap places with Tiffs, whilst a Tiffs bonus point win could see them move above Warlingham and into 8th.
Battersea Ironsides v Trojans
Old Cranleighans v Petersfield
Old Emanuel v Basingstoke
Old Tiffinians v New Milton & District
Portsmouth v Warlingham
Weybridge Vandals v Teddington