Dec 6 2011 By Tim Street
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HOLDERS Ruislip RFC have decided to stay put in the Middlesex Cup – having been given a bye straight through to the final.
As the Gazette revealed last week, the club were considering pulling out of the trophy they won last season after the Middlesex RFU decided to let professional teams enter the previously amateur tournament.
But with other amateur sides dropping out, only three other teams were left in it, giving Ruislip a bye in both the quarter-finals.
With London Scottish being knocked out, Ealing and Civil Service will now contest one semi-final, withy Ruislip being given another bye in the other.
Ruislip's rugby manager, Paul Flynn, told the Gazette last week he was concerned with the dangers his part-time players would face by taking on full-time professionals.
But he added this week: “Now we are in the final, which we are hosting, we have nothing to lose really, espcially with home advantage, and we will be putting a strong team out.”
With no cup game needed, Ruislip's first team had a dayoff on Saturday, ahead of their tough trip to London One North leaders Colchester this Saturday.
Flynn said: “You never know what Colchester will do. They lost to Eton Manor, who are two places below us, last week, but they have some tough army lads in the side. However, we will be at full strength and have had a week's rest, whereas they played on Saturday.”
Ruislip's seconds were in action, losing 27-7 at Bishop's Stortford, while on Friday night, the club's veterans took on a touring side from Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, who were in town to watch the Barbarians take on Australia at Twickenham, Ruislip winning 48-14.
Flynn added: “They were a good bunch of lads and they drunk the clubhouse dry.”