KCs are braced for big derby

HEAD coach Ian Bletcher has told his Kidderminster Carolians players to make sure they have no regrets ahead of Saturday’s derby clash at Stourbridge Lions.

Third-placed KCs go into their final two games of the season still with a chance of securing second place and making the play-offs.

But to do that they must negotiate two tricky away matches at Lions on Saturday (3pm ko) and Leamington on April 12.

In contrast, second-placed Banbury, who boast a slightly better points differential, have home clashes against Spartans and Stourbridge.

Bletcher said: “As long as we give everything and make sure we don’t have any regrets, I will be happy whatever the result.

“We’ve got two teams in the top half of the table away, so it’s going to very tough.

“Stourbridge is a derby and they will want to avenge their defeat to us in December which disrupted their season.”

Mitchell Hardwick looks set to start at centre after Andy McLellan sustained a torn calf in the defeat to Ealsdon two weeks ago.

The luckless player suffered exactly the same injury at the same stage last year and missed the first half of this season.

Ben Binnion and Joe Nicklin are available.

Meanwhile, Bletcher feels whatever happens KCs will have had an excellent season.

A fine run of results saw them push for the title, although the loss to Earlsdon ended that.

But the Marlpool Lane outfit have had an impressive campaign, bouncing back from an injury-disrupted start to the season to power into the top three.

“We’ve been a victim of our own success,” said the head coach.

“Expectations have been raised by our good form and people treated the loss to Earlsdon like a disaster.

“They are the best team in the division, and for 25 minutes we outplayed them.

“But whatever happens we’ve had a very good season.

“All we can do is play to our best and hope we have a bit of luck.”

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