Have Pulborough RFC blown their title chances?

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PULBOROUGH’S Sussex League 1 title ambitions hang by a thread, the club’s first XV captain has admitted this week.

Saturday’s defeat to East Grinstead II saw the Black and Whites knocked off the top of the division, and skipper Richard Nicholls fears they may have to rely on results going their way if they are to return to the summit.

Boro were nine points clear of the chasing pack at one point, but Grinstead clawed the deficit back, and overhauled the leaders, combined with Pulborough’s two losses in two weeks.

Nicholls said: “We have now put ourselves under pressure to try and win the league.”

Pulborough will have to do it without the tries of Willie Norman, who made an explosive debut earlier this month, but has now returned to New Zealand for family reasons, while the presence of Max Barson will be missed as he is away in Australia.

Grinstead, as a second XV, cannot actually win promotion even if they do finish top, but Nicholls insists any honours Pulborough claim by default of finishing second will be hollow.

“I certainly hope these results are just a blip,” he said. “We have to get a bonus point win now in every game, because judging by the way Grinstead played on Saturday they will probably win the rest of their games.

“Everyone’s commitment is still good, we have a few injury problems and there are a few people 100 per cent fit, and we may be affected by injuries. If we don’t have the strength in depth then so be it.

“Even if we did get promoted from second, I’d would feel like a moral defeat.”