FORMER Wigan Warriors winger Shaun Ainscough is set to help St Jude’s in their quest to finish second in National Conference Leaue Division One.
They search for a victory over a Rochdale Mayfield side that can still grab promotion should they win.
The game kicks off at 2.30pm and St Jude’s are determined to grab the win they need to secure that second spot.
Mayfield have one more game to play after Saturday and should they win, then they could snatch the third promotion spot if Hunslet Warriors fall to Millom.
Ainscough returned to St Jude’s last week after a spell playing with South City Bulls in Australia and made an instant impact when scoring with his first touch of the ball in a tough 36-30 win over Eccles.
“Shaun let us know he was back in England and wanting to train and play,” said St Jude’s Joe Fitzimmons.
“He’s one of our former under-18s and he is still only 24 now so we were delighted to get him registered and able to play.
“He was a bit rusty having not played for about six weeks, but generally he looked sharp, made some great runs and scored great try early on.
“I don’t expect we will keep hold of him for too long as I am certain he would do a good job at a Super League or Championship club but if he is available, then we are a happy to play him while he is an amateur.”
Ainscough made a sensational first team debut with Wigan at the beginning of the 2009 season romping in for 16 tries in his first 10 professional games.
He moved to Widnes in 2010 and then Bradford before opting to head to Australia for 2012.
Certainly he brings a bit of extra spice to the St Jude’s side that will be looking to finish with a win.
“It’s been a very exciting end to the season,” said
Fitzimmons. “We looked set for the championship at one stage but we suffered a couple of shock defeats away to Dewsbury Celtic and at home to Eccles , such that when we went to East Leeds we needed to win but we got battered.
“They are at home to Eccles this week, and even if they are beaten their points difference is such that they would still finish above us if we won.
“But fair play to them, they have had a great season losing only three games and that tells its own story.”
Not that St Jude’s record is really much worse.
They have only lost four games themselves as they head into their Saturday showdown.
“We were looking at last season’s records and Egremont won the championship having been beaten seven times,” Fitzimmons continued.
“They stormed through with a series of wins at the end of the season and it was Hunslet Warriors who missed out on points difference to York Acorn and Castleford Lock Lane.
“This year has been equally as exciting and until we won at Milford a couple of weeks ago they were still in the hunt for promotion too.
“In realty it looks like Rochdale might miss out his year, but after they play us , they still have a home game against Bradford Dudley Hill to complete their season. And as I have already said, if Millom win at Hunslet, its all to play for.”
St Jude’s thankfully know they have secured promotion but it is that second spot that they really do now want to achieve.
Rochdale Mayfield are three points behind the last promotion spot but unlike their rivals, have a game in hand and could still earn promotion should they win both remaining games.