Cockles are looking to get 2018 off to a winning start

PUBLISHED: 15:03 31 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:03 31 December 2017

Exmouth action from the home win over Newbury Blues Picture JAN MCCARTHY

Exmouth action from the home win over Newbury Blues Picture JAN MCCARTHY

Archant

Exmouth have a great chance to start 2018 on the front foot when they return to action after the festive break with a South West Premier League game away at basement side Hornets on Saturday (January 6).

When the sides met at the Imperial Ground on September 16, the Cockles emerged winners to the tune of a 55-30 score line.

Hornets have lost their last three games – their most recent outing being a 54-0 defeat to title favourites Dings Crusaders.

The bottom side have won just twice all season in their league campaign, those successes being a September 23, 38-26 victory over Lydney and their most recent win was a 42-17 home triumph over Bracknell on November 25.

In stark contrast, the Cockles are heading into this first game of 2018 looking to secure a third straight win having won 45-25 against Newbury Blues and 26-20 against Ivybridge in pre-Christmas meetings.

Indeed, since a 22-20 win on November 11 at Camborne, a result that saw an end to a sequence of four straight defeats, the Cockles only reversal has been a 64-14 mauling at the hands of Dings Crusaders.

The Cockles go into the match sitting sixth, but just six points shy of second placed Newton Abbot.

The other matches involving the teams above the Cockles are; Maidenhead, two places and one point better off, entertain table topping Dings Crusaders who defeated them 44-24 back on September 16.

Cleve, the side immediately above the Cockles in the table, travel to meet a Brixham side they beat in the first meeting and Bournemouth (third) and Newton Abbot (2nd) are at home to Weston-super-Mare and Camborne respectively.

A good win for the Cockles at Hornets will set them up nicely for what could be a pivotal first month of the year. In January the Cockles also host Maidenhead on the 13th and Newton Abbot on the 27th – both teams are currently above the Cockles in the table and they also have a trip to Brixham for a Devon derby on January 20.

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