Huntingdon & District chairman Mark Garrood says promotion is a real possibility for the Stags

RUGBY union in Huntingdonshire is in rude health after all three of the district’s teams won their seventh games of the season on Saturday to remain undefeated in their respective Midlands East divisions.

It’s an incredible record. Between them, Huntingdon & District, St Neots and St Ives have won all 21 of their league games this season, with all three of them seriously pushing for promotion.

One man happy to celebrate this achievement is Huntingdon chairman Mark Garrood, who told The Hunts Post: “It’s very encouraging – it’s certainly a strong year for the district’s clubs.”

For their part, Stags beat their latest Midlands Two East South opponents Lutterworth 31-9 at the Racecourse, while both St Neots and St Ives – who play their rugby two divisions below in the Midlands league structure – were victorious on the road.

“We have maximum points, we have won every game including our pre-season friendlies and cup games, and we haven’t lost at home since December,” said Garrood.

“We are becoming a bit of a force in this league at the moment.”

Huntingdon are now seven points clear at the top of the table with 33 points. In second, Leighton Buzzard, who they are yet to play, have won five of their games but lost two to amount 26 points.

Most Read

“We have a strong youth section starting to feed into the squad,” continued the chairman. “The first team coach Damian Wales is doing a fantastic job.

“We are playing with confidence after last season and there is a desire in the squad to win.”

It is a similar story at St Neots and St Ives, who have both won all seven of their games, and are second and third respectively in the Midlands Four East South division.

This Saturday St Neots beat Oundle 17-15 and St Ives thrashed Westwood 72-0. At the top of the table, Brackley are ahead by a single bonus point.

“At times we were outstanding against Westwood,” said St Ives captain Jim Robinson before warning: “We have a tough run of games coming up. But if we take this form into those games we should find ourselves in a great position.”

Meanwhile, a number of Stags fans will be taking to the train to London on Thursday to attend a fundraising meal with a special guest, the former England international Lewis Moody.

Talks are still in progress over a move from the Racecourse to the new Alconbury development, and any money coming into the club from fundraising events is currently being ring-fenced for that project.

“The money that we raise from the dinner and other events will only be touched for the relocation,” said Garrood.

“That’s still two or three years away but there’s a lot of planning going on with Huntingdonshire District Council.

“When the time comes for the move we will have a bit of money put aside which hopefully can be matched by Sport England and by the Rugby Football Union.

And promotion for Huntingdon? “I think we have a very, very good chance,” said the chairman. “We feel it may be a little early in our development to go up – but we’ll take promotion if it comes.

“You can’t hold a good team back.