Reserve Team Regular
Jul 7, 2012, 9:10 PM
Team(s): (FC) Halifax Town (from 1973), South Liverpool (1983-86)
Post #534 of 651
Saturday 7th July 2012
Wath Brow Hornets 42 Siddal 20 (HT 20-20)
National Conference League Premier Division
Admission £2 (including 28-page programme)
Attendance 200 (h/c)
Refreshments available - didn't partake
Glad to get this one out of the way (a) because it's a 300-mile round trip from my present home, and (b) because between 1986 and 1991 it was just four miles from home (first job after university), and yet I never went. My excuse is that, in those days, Wath Brow Hornets were a middling Cumberland League side, and very much in the shadow of local rivals Kells, Egremont Rangers and Hensingham. Now, of course, Hornets are one of the best amateur rugby league teams in Britain and, on this evidence, are good enough to win the NCL Premier Division title.
Siddal arrived in west Cumbria on the back of six straight wins, and matched the hosts blow for blow during an exciting first half in which the teams shared eight tries and finished it deadlocked at 20-20. All Hornets after the break, however, as they added four more tries without reply. Good to see ex-Whitehaven pro Leroy Joe still has a trick or two up his sleeve, whilst his half-back partner, Karl Dixon, apparently on Warrington's books until fairly recently, looked a class act. It must be his choice not to play for either Haven or Workington Town. I cannot see any other reason for them ignoring such a prodigious talent right under their noses.
Wath Brow is essentially a meeting of roads from Whitehaven, Egremont and Cockermouth at the east end of Cleator Moor, a pitifully forlorn little town which, since the demise of its traditional industries, doesn't seem to know what to do with itself. Every dump has a saving grace, and Cleator Moor's is the proximity of wonderful Ennerdale Water, just three and a half miles distant and one of the finest lakes in Cumbria. Peaceful and very much off the beaten trap, it puts to shame such ghastly tourist traps as Windermere and Derwentwater.
Hornets' ground, a shelf in the landscape, is a great set-up enlivened by scenic views across the Ehen Valley and over to the aforementioned fells. A large block housing bar, social club, dressing rooms and gym is positioned on a raised site above the west touchline. It even boasts a digital scoreboard! The pitch, flat and well grassed, is railed off and has hardstanding all round it. There are floodlights, but no cover. The west side offers a choice of elevated (very popular with spectators) or pitchside hardstanding. Beyond the east touchline, there is room for a single line of spectators before the terrain drops away to the River Ehen, swollen after months of rain.
Just Askam and Leigh East (revisit for their new ground) left now to complete the top three divisions of the NCL.
There's as much pride in this club as there is at Anfield - just fewer people showing it.
If you don't like it, don't ****ing come.
(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Jul 7, 2012, 9:20 PM)