HIGH Wycombe RFC secretary Don Dickerson has seen more Wycombe and Marlow derbies than some of Saturday's players will have had hot dinners.
He’s been at Kingsmead since the 1960s and knows better than to put his head on the block with an ill-advised prediction of Saturday's Bucks Cup semi-final between the two clubs.
He said: “There are so many factors. The weather is one, who the teams have playing is one.
“It will be a close-run thing and it’s usually which team performs on the day.”
A look at table would point to a Marlow victory. They are 17 points and five places better off in South West 1 East, and they won the home fixture between the sides a few months ago.
But Dickerson says league form counts for little when the two clubs meet.
He said: “There have been times when I thought we’d win and we’ve lost, and times when I thought we’d lose and we’ve won.
“Both clubs try to rise to the occasion and it’s all on the day.”
But while Wycombe would never knowingly give less than 100 per cent against Marlow, their precarious league position means their priorities are elsewhere for now.
As it stands they occupy the last relegation spot. They are three points behind safety and their situation would be made worse if Newbury Blues, the team directly below them in the table, win their game in hand.
Dickerson said: “Any competition matters and a win against Marlow is always a catalyst whether it’s cup or league.
“But our prime consideration is to get out of the bottom three.”
Marlow, however, have made their intentions clear.
Coach John Brodley believes winning the Bucks Cup is crucial to the club’s progression although he has emphasised a need to take the emotion and history out of derby matches in order to get the best out of his team.
Dickerson said: “I joined the club in the 1960s and the rivalry hasn’t changed.
“We always get on well, despite what people say.”