Saltash look for cup double as Plymouth Combination finals conclude

SALTASH have the chance to pick up two trophies tonight as the Plymouth Combination cup finals conclude at the Rectory.

The Ashes’ first team that have suffered so many near misses this season will play a Plymstock Albion Oaks XV in the RNEC Cup, while Saltash’s second string, who won the Duchy Shield at the weekend, will play OPM II in the Pedrick Cup.

Saltash’s first team will be keen to lift the RNEC Cup after narrowly finishing as runners-up in Counties Two Cornwall, despite only losing one match. They also agonisingly lost by just one single point to St Ives in the Papa John’s national cup and were also beaten by just a single point by Devonport Services II in the Lockie Cup semi-finals.

They will be pretty close to full strength for the final, which will see captain Jay Moriaty make his 200th appearance for the club and fit-again Sam Snell will play his 100th game for them. However, they are missing backs Ryan Cruickshanks and Lewis Stuart.

Saltash’s opponents in the final are supposed to be Counties Three Devon West strugglers Plymstock Albion Oaks II, but Oaks, whose first team were beaten by the Ashes in pre-season, have named a club XV, with Western West first team regulars like Lewis Paterson, Pete Keanie, Joel Moran, Duncan Bibby, Matt Jackson and Harvey Courtis among their starting line-up.

In the Pedrick Cup, Saltash II will take on their old rivals OPM II. The sides have met twice this season with both clubs claiming a win each.

Both teams are pretty strong for the final. Saltash II include the likes of Axel Nicks, Chris Carpenter, James Sutton and Nick Blake in their team, while OPM II have experienced players like Sammy Matts, Corbin Turner and Mark Hardie in their squad.

Meanwhile, OPMs have been boosted by news that teenage back-rower Aaron Trinder has been released from hospital in Bristol after suffering a neck injury in the Devon Junior Shield final on Saturday.

The match had to be abandoned while he was air-lifted to hospital but he is now recovering at home.

RNEC CUP TEAMS (kick-off approximately, 7.30pm)

Saltash: Billy Dover; Will Morton, Greg Eatwell, Sam Snell, Jay Moriarty; Danny Snook, Jack Pritchard; Ryan Simmons, Rob Walsh, Ben Simmons; Lewis Woolaway, Devon Bennett-Murray; Lewis Wells, Phil Eatwell, Ryan Rayner. Reps: Simon Nance, Matt Coker, Steve Hillman, Ryan Wilson.

Plymstock Albion Oaks II: Ross Perkins; Matt Jackson, Duncan Bibby, Oli Elliot-Smith, Ben Turua; Lewis Paterson, Lance Davies; Luke Austin, Ehren Duke, Harvey Courtis; Andy Porter, Josh Breed; Stu Collyer, Joel Moran, Pete Keanie. Reps: Dion Todd, Jack Welch, Lewis Moyse, Darren Ford.

PEDRICK CUP TEAM (kick-off 6pm)

Saltash II:  Ben Lawley; Jack Thorn, Devan Marshall, Ollie Crawford, Dale Partington; Nick Blake, Ross Martin; Colm Rich, Axel Nicks, Mike Grieve; Aidan Marshall, Mike Capstack; Chris Carpenter, James Sutton, Matt Green. Reps: Ewan McLean, Dale Thompson, Alfie Libby, Connor Jennison.

OPM II:  Dylan Cooke; Adam Jarrod, Matt Thompson, James Mitchell, Reece Rowe; Corbin Turner, Sammy Matts; Ash Smith, Rich Fenton, Paul Decourcey; Tony Dupreez, Nath Gray; Shaughn Lewis, Paul Dupreez, Mark Hardie. Reps: Rob Wright, Connor Braddon, Andy Hodge, Dom Derrick.

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