RUGBY: Rallying call from president ahead of crucial clash in Huntingdon’s battle against the drop

Huntingdon skipper Doug Bentley was an impressive figure in their loss at Kettering.

Huntingdon skipper Doug Bentley was an impressive figure in their loss at Kettering. - Credit: Archant

President Sid Millar has called on the local public to boost Huntingdon’s bid to avoid relegation.

Stags remain in the Midlands Division One East drop-zone following a 31-0 defeat at Kettering in an A14 derby clash last weekend.

They are now six points from safety in a section where the bottom three finishers are expected to go down at the end of the season.

A crucial clash in their survival mission lies ahead this Saturday when Stags entertain Leighton Buzzard at The Racecourse, 2.15pm.

And Miller hopes a big crowd can provide plenty of backing for Damien Whales’ men in their time of need.

Millar said: “If we can have a large and boisterous crowd on the touchline to support the team, who knows what might happen?

“The bar will be open from midday for those who need to lubricate their vocal chords ahead of the game.

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“All are not only welcome, but actively encouraged to come along and get behind us.”

Stags took plenty of positives from their reverse at Kettering, despite an eighth loss in their last nine games also coming complete with a third blank of the season.

But while Whales’ men didn’t manage to put points on the board, their overall performance provided plenty of reasons for optimism.

They restricted their hosts to three tries in the opening half and a further two in the second period. Only some vigorous defensive work from Kettering denied Stags a breakthrough during several moments of attacking promise.

Skipper Doug Bentley was an immense presence on a day when several of his team-mates also delivered positive displays. Roger Shakespeare was another shining light as he refused to succumb to a knee injury.

Tom Saunders was handed a first-team debut on the flank, joining his scrum half brother, Charlie, in the Huntingdon line-up.