WESTCLIFF host Rochford Hundred in an eagerly anticipated local derby on Saturday.

The two teams have found National Two South tough this term with Westcliff bottom of the table and Rochford two places above them.

But Saturday’s clash is one being relished by both sides.

And Westcliff skipper Greg Bannister cannot wait for the game, at the Gables, to get underway.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Bannister.

“It’s a local derby at home and it’s hard not to be excited.

“Hopefully the weather will be good and we are expecting a big crowd so it should be a good day.

“Rochford have done well and have beaten some teams up the table, so it will be tough.

“But it’s a challenge we are looking forward to.”

Rochford won the reverse fixture 28-17 at Magnolia Road just before Christmas.

But Bannister is expecting a different kind of contest this time around.

“It was a bit scrappy but it was probably a game where they took their chances and we didn’t,” said the Westcliff skipper.

“Conditions will be different this time so I imagine both teams will play a bit differently.

“If the weather is nice I expect both teams to play with the ball a lot more.”

And Bannister also believes both sides will be fighting hard to secure victory.

“It means something to every member of both clubs and I think people would be lying if they say it didn’t,” said Bannister.

“But isn’t that the great thing about a local derby? Speaking to people around the club they have been looking forward to this game since the start of the year so I’m sure it will be a great occasion.”

And those sentiments were echoed by Rochford’s head coach Danny Cleare.

“The boys are really looking forward to the game on Saturday,” said Cleare.

“Games like this are why you play the sport.

“The top two teams in the county are going head to head and it’s going to be massive.”

But Cleare feels Westcliff could field a fresher side after they were unable to fulfil their fixture at Worthing on Saturday.

“I’m expecting a really fresh Westcliff team after their week off,” said Cleare.

“It certainly helps at this stage in the year.

“But Westcliff are always a team that has a bit of fight about them and are tough to break down.

“They also have some very good individual players that can score out of nothing.

“So I think it will be a really tight game and a classic derby match. “