It seems the battle for places at Sharmans Cross Road has intensified to such an extent ahead of the relegation play-offs that some improper tactics have crept into squad dynamics.

As perhaps their best midfield distributor one would have thought Cameron Mitchell was in the box seat for the No 12 shirt but clearly the skilful centre sees no harm in bringing teacher an apple.

When I turned up at Portway to interview Russell Earnshaw last Wednesday, the director of rugby was loading a child’s buggy and car seat into his vehicle, provided FOC by Mitchell.

“Someone throw Cameron the armband, he’s captain on Saturday,” Earnshaw quipped.

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And in a bid for Divine intervention Bees have taken the decision to play two of their three home play-off matches on Sunday.

They will start their relegation avoidance campaign at Sharmans Cross Road on Saturday, March 20 – against as yet unknown opponents, but possibly Moseley.

After that they will play on Sunday, April 11, and then at home to Coventry on Sunday, April 18 – a fixture that is sure to need a little Christian spirit judging by the mass brawl that broke out the last time the sides met.

However, I wonder if I am the only person uncomfortable with the ‘Great Escape’ billing they are giving the rest of the season. Perhaps a little more sober contrition might be appropriate.

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There’s been a good deal of sobriety at Sixways of late, save for those Worcester fans who have felt the need to drown their sorrows.

Last Friday’s victory over Newcastle notwithstanding Mike Ruddock’s men are embroiled in an almighty relegation battle with Leeds, Sale and possibly even Newcastle and Harlequins.

That has not helped the Welshman in the popularity stakes and there was no little mischief behind a posting on the supporters’ messageboard which was titled ‘Job advert Head Rugby Coach Worcester’ with an internet link.

Happily for Mr Ruddock the position was not his own, but one at RGS Worcester.

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And, finally, congratulations to Moseley whose Under 19s have reached the quarter finals of the National Colts Cup after a 31-13 victory over Westoe. In a fortnight they travel to Leighton Buzzard to play for the right to face either Bedford Athletic or Bedford Blues in the semi-finals.