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FOOTBALL: ICIS MIDLAND COMBINATION: We're still in the hunt say Brakes.

LEAMINGTON refuse to be ruled out of the ICIS Midland Combination Premier Division title race after sharing the spoils with leaders and arch-rivals Rugby Town, who had Paul Gibbons sent off 10 minutes from time.

Both side's were unable to find the net in a clash that drew the biggest crowd of the season with almost 800 people packing the New Windmill Ground.

Brakes joint manager Jason Cadden admitted prior to the game that defeat would rule his side out of contention, but having already lost twice to Town in cup competitions they were in no mood to surrender a third time.

Despite the lack of goals, there was no shortage of chances with both sides going close to netting a winner, however Cadden was content with the point.

He said: "It was a fair result because it was two good sides cancelling each other out. I'd like to think that we created the better chances over the 90 minutes but I have no argument with the result.

"Even with 10-men Rugby were hard to get by as they had everyone behind the ball.

"The one thing I didn't want was us losing as that would put us eight points behind them but being five points away means we're still in the hunt at the half way stage."

Nuneaton Town Cricket Club skipper Ruban Field showed his sporting versatility by netting Nuneaton Griff's winning goal in their welcome 3-2 win at Southam. Following a run of four defeats, managerless Griff were desperate to find the winning formula and it all came right for them at Southam although they had to battle back from a goal down to snatch the spoils, which left Southam boss Ian Clarke bemoaning his side's inability to defend.

Clark though had no complaints about the stunning winner from Field, who missed the opening few months of the season through injury, which brought a huge sigh of relief to caretaker managers Lee Bateman and Darren Wright.

Following a dull and lifeless opening period, the game burst into life in the second half as Nelson 'schoolboy' Ajoge fired Southam in front only for man-of-the-match Gareth Plant to equalise with his first goal for the club.

Jamie Williams then put Griff ahead but Paul Holland squared matters soon after leaving Field, who will lead Nuneaton CC's exploits next summer, to rocket a rising 25-yard volley high into the net to notch Griff's ninth league success of the campaign and a most important one.

Chairman John Gore said: "We desperately needed a good result at Southam and though it was a tough, competitive game, played in heavy conditions, I think we deserved the points."

But while their were more positive signs for Clarke, it has yet again proved fruitless in the search for points.

He said: "It is encouraging to see us moving forward but we've got nothing to show for it and it's time that was reversed.

"I was pleased with the first half performance apart from their being no end product. We corrected that in the second half and scored early on but then we switched off and let them back into the game by giving away two bad goals."

Premier Division: Coleshill Town 0 Meir KA 1, Continental Star 2 Highgate Utd 4, Handrahan Timbers 1 West Midlands Police 2, Leamington 0 Rugby Town 0, Southam Utd 2 Nuneaton Griff 3.

President Cup: Pilkington 0 Cadbury Ath 1.

Division One: Blackheath 5 Old Hill Town 1, Brownhills Town 1 Polesworth NW 5, Wilmcote 0 Kenilworth Town 0.

Division Two: Cadbury Ath Res 2 Earlswood Town 2, Droitwich Spa 6 West Hagley 2, Enville Ath 1 Halfords 0, Littleton 5 Fernhill County Sports Res 3, West Midlands Police Res 4 Handsworth Utd 2.

Division Three: Inkberrow 3 Birmingham Utd 1, Knowle Res 5 Kenilworth Town Res 1, Massey Ferguson Res 8 Rugby Town Res 1.

Reserve Division: Highgate Utd 0 Boldmere St Michaels 1, Quorn 1 Shepshed Dynamo 2, Rushall Olympic 1 Hinckley Utd 1, Solihull Borough 2 Rugby Utd 1.

ALL other scheduled games postponed.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 31, 2002
Words:678
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