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Hucclecote hoping to step up Gloucestershire Premier title challenge at Gloucester Old Boys on Saturday

All Areas > Sport > Rugby Union

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 11:00

Hucclecote RFC Hucclecote RFC

Hucclecote chairman Nigel Matthews knows what he’d like for Christmas – a bonus-point win at bottom-of-the-table Gloucester Old Boys on Saturday and with it the possibility of going into the new year as the new leaders of Gloucestershire Premier.

“That would be the perfect Christmas present,” he said.

Hucclecote are currently in second spot, two points behind leaders Spartans, who face a tough trip to Cheltenham Saracens in four days’ time.

Fifth-placed Saracens are one of seven clubs in a very congested top half of the table which sees Widden Old Boys, in seventh spot, trail the leaders by just nine points.

But while Hucclecote’s supporters may be thinking that their club have a great chance of taking over top spot in what is the final round of league fixtures in the division this year, club chairman Matthews is not underestimating Gloucester Old Boys who have drawn one and lost nine of their 10 league games this season.

“The boys are working hard and we’re trying to progress but we can’t take Gloucester Old Boys for granted,” insisted Matthews.

Hucclecote have beaten fellow promotion challengers Bristol Saracens, Cheltenham Saracens and Frampton Cotterell in their last three league games and Matthews added: “We’re on a good run at the moment but it can break at any time.

“We’re hoping to take the club forward and we’re in a good place at the moment.

“Promotion is always the aim. There’s not much more travelling in Western Counties North so financially it wouldn’t hurt us.”

Matthews knows his rugby because he started off in the junior set-up at Hucclecote many years ago before going to play for Matson and then Cinderford, where he spent 12 seasons.

A hooker who could also play in the back row, he also had spells at Bristol and Harlequins, before finishing his playing career at Matson.

Now he’s delighted to be back at Hucclecote, a club where his dad Charlie was such a big figure many years ago.

And while the club’s flagship team are enjoying a successful season, Matthews is very keen to stress how well the club’s ladies’ team are doing as well.

“They’ve been getting stronger and stronger,” he said. “They are the heartbeat of the club just as much as the men’s team.”

Matthews’ daughters, Chelsea and Ella, are both part of the junior girls’ set-up at the club while his son Charlie plays for the under-11 boys, who his dad coaches.

Matthews senior obviously puts a lot of time into the club but he’s by no means the only one.

“We’re very lucky to have a lot of people who put a lot of time into the club,” he said.

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