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Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION

 

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Feversham Lens
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May 16, 2018, 1:26 PM

Posts: 2775
Location: York
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Post #1601 of 1654 (7109 views)
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Re: [Seagull] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
One final play off game confirmed, Anselmians of South Lancs Division 1 will host Aspatria from the North Lancs and Cumbria division this Saturday at 3pm for a place in North One West (level 6).

Probably do this if I can get confirmation a programme is being issued. Otherwise, it's cricket for me. Anselmians issued towards the end of last season, and up to Christmas this, before the editor warned production would cease if more fans didn't support his programme. Unfortunately, the guy doesn't seem capable of answering an email! You know anything, Andy?


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on May 16, 2018, 1:35 PM)


Seagull
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May 16, 2018, 10:32 PM

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Post #1602 of 1654 (7022 views)
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Re: [Feversham Lens] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Afraid not. The lack of a programme wouldn't stop me going if I fancied it so I rarely check these days.

Toying with this or the Ladies County SF between Lancashire and Yorkshire at Waterloo on Sunday. We went to the last group game at Southport last weekend as daughter's rugby coach was making her full debut for Lancs. First time I've watched that level of the ladies game and it was very watchable despite the easy win for the hosts, 55-0 v East Midlands. Attendance 140.

Lancs do a free informative glossy 8 pager for these games. No admission charged. Picked up a nice smart compact Southport prog from February as well, good to see them issuing again.

The previous week we went to Wigton to watch Cumbria v Durham in the men's competition. Basic 4 pager given away with fiver admission, but ran out 30 minutes before KO. Att around 200, result 5-64. Durham impressive, Cumbria rather less so.


cherryhopper
Chelsea Transfer Target

May 17, 2018, 9:57 PM

Posts: 3852
Location: The Premier League town of Bournemouth
Team(s): AFC Bournemouth, Verwood Town, Sunderland

Post #1603 of 1654 (6913 views)
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Re: [Seagull] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

According to the RFU site Yorkshire are the home team in the Ladies County SF and the tie is being played at West Park Leeds RFC (1530).


(This post was edited by cherryhopper on May 17, 2018, 9:58 PM)


onion_bag
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May 17, 2018, 11:55 PM

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Post #1604 of 1654 (6868 views)
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Re: [cherryhopper] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Final - Yorkshire Vase
Northallerton 15 - 15 Hemsworth (Northallerton win on golden point)
Atten: 300+

The Vase final was played at Pontefract RUFC. A tidy set up , decent stand on one side , hard standing on the other sides. Family play area behind one set of posts and pleasant views over the countryside behind the other. Nice modern clubhouse with bar and kitchen facilities.

'North' started the final strongly and caught Hemsworth on the back foot and scored three tries inside 30 minutes , all uncoverted to make it 15-0. Just before HT 'Hem' fought back and instead of going for a try they took the penalty conversion which later on proved to be a prudent move. HT 15-3

Second half 'Hem' kept fighting back and scored a converted try to make the score 15-10. 'North' retaliated and forced 'Hem' back , but 'Hem' didnt buckle and fought back with a long period of attacking pressure themselves. Then with 4 minutes left 'Hem's pressure finally told as they went over to make it 15-15. Conversion attempt from a tight angle just scraped past the near post. But with a few moments left, both teams gave everything as both teams supporters roared them on in this ding-dong battle. It was a nail biting , tense, and a rip roaring excitment right up until the ref blew his whistle for full-time.The excitment continued as both teams searched for the sudden death 'golden point' to win the game. It was finally decided as 'North' broke free , played the ball out wide to go over for the try.

Both teams were well supported and both made plenty of noise which made for an excellent atmosphere to compliment a crackerjack of a game.






http://onion-bag.blogspot.co.uk//
http://rugbyleaguegrounds.blogspot.co.uk/



(This post was edited by onion_bag on May 18, 2018, 12:03 AM)


Feversham Lens
First Team Star


May 19, 2018, 7:01 PM

Posts: 2775
Location: York
Team(s): Not any more

Post #1605 of 1654 (6648 views)
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Re: [onion_bag] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 19th May 2018
Anselmians 65 Aspatria 14 (HT 20-14)
South Lancs/Cheshire One & North Lancs/Cumbria Play-Off
Admission £3
Programme (w/a) 28 pages, entirely game specific
Attendance 400 (h/c)
Burgers £2.50, hot dogs £2, drinks from the clubhouse (didn't sample)


Well, what a strange game to bring up my 250th rugby union ground. Eleven minutes in, Aspatria led 14-0 through two converted tries and Anselmians hadn't managed any possession in the Cumbrians' half. The hosts got on the scoreboard by landing straightforward penalties in the 18th and 26th minutes then never looked back. Anselmians crossed in the 28th, 31st, 42nd, 46th, 61st, 73rd, 77th and 79th minutes. Their kicker rubbed salt in the wound with several excellent conversions. Aspatria went through a simply awful spell of being penalised repeatedly for infringing when the ball was on the floor (it cost them a sin-binning when the referee's patience ran out), and later the Black-Reds lost their way so badly they couldn't even win line outs off their own throw. On a gloriously sunny afternoon, the bulk of a bumper crowd lapped it up. Anselmians are now promoted to North One West for the 2018-19 season.

That campaign will not be played at Malone Field, which faces a major revamp. The northernmost - and narrowest - section of a triangular site has been sold to a housing developer. The existing clubhouse and first XV pitch will disappear beneath concrete (or, more precisely, 21 four-bedroom houses). A new clubhouse ('hub', as the plans describe it) will be constructed near the south end of the present first XV pitch. Also added will be pitches for the first and second XVs, two junior pitches, a training pitch and a 150-space car park. Pre-match, I had a picnic in lovely Torr Park (on the other side of Eastham Village Road to Malone Field) then went for a stroll round Eastham Village, a charming settlement of cottages (Eastham Hall aside) built from red sandstone. I spotted an Eastham Village Preservation Association flyer on a noticeboard near the attractive parish church. The association is clearly furious Wirral Council planners gave permission for the houses and car park, despite Eastham Village being both Green Belt and a designated Conservation Area. Do I detect NIMBYs (or maybe even BANANAs)?

While their facilities are transformed, Anselmians will play at the Vauxhall Sports Club in Ellesmere Port. I gather they will have use of a 3G training pitch. Good to tick Malone Field in its original state, which isn't, in all honesty, terribly impressive. The clubhouse, an ugly structure, is located behind the sticks at the north end. The pitch is railed everywhere but the north end though the ground lacks cover, hardstanding and floodlights. The wider portion of the site (apparently, Anselmians are the only rugby union club on the Wirral to own the land on which they play), to the south, contains two other pitches and space for training and warm-ups. Access is via Eastham Village Road, with separate pay points for pedestrians and drivers. Looking north, there are good views of planes climbing away from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, at Speke, on the Mersey's east bank.

Had a brief chat with this forum's AndrewG and Seagull, who both watched the action from the shade of mature trees in the southwest corner. The M53, M56, M6, M60, M62 and M1 were all very quiet on the return drive (owing to people watching the FA Cup Final, presumably), which meant I was home in just under two hours.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on May 19, 2018, 7:12 PM)


R.S.Cavendish
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Aug 10, 2018, 9:44 PM

Posts: 1643
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Post #1606 of 1654 (3994 views)
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Re: [Feversham Lens] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

ST.CLEARS 19 AMMANFORD 45

@Station Road
Attendance : 216
A decent game between teams one division apart in the Welsh structure. From the start Ammanford dominated although at half time there were only two points between the teams. The strength of the visitors saw them pull ahead and they totally dominated after the hour mark.
Excellent ground improvements at the home club with a raised concrete walkway now going along most of the western side of the pitch. Also a new covered area which is to be used for functions.


The Moose
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Aug 18, 2018, 12:05 AM

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Location: The West Country
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Post #1607 of 1654 (3796 views)
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Re: [R.S.Cavendish] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

FRI 17th Aug - Pre Season Friendly: CORNISH PIRATES 29 EXETER CHIEFS 21

TKT: £10. PROG: £1. ATT: circa 3,000

Third visit to the iconic Mennaye ground by the Penzance seaside. Advice to other egg chasers, would be to grab it while you can. The S4C new build looms on the horizon, but this is an archaic gem. Two sides have been spoiled a tad with scaffold style seats, but the other two are superb. The old main stand rules supreme, along with some covered terracing at one end.

Twenty five minutes yomp from the last station in England, but pleasant view of the coast & St. Michaels Mount along the way. Tonight the Pirates played what appeared to be a second string Chiefs side, but that helped make the game a close affair. Fish & chips from the seafront pirates nest were top notch too. Decent night out for all in my clan & a pleasure to visit.

KRTM :-)


R.S.Cavendish
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Aug 21, 2018, 4:26 PM

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Post #1608 of 1654 (3655 views)
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Re: [The Moose] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

 CARDIFF MET 12 HULL 43

@ Circle Road West
Attendance : 254

A very enjoyable game between two good sides who played all of their first-team squads. The standard was surprisingly good for pre-season with Cardiff giving debuts to some promising freshers.
The ground has good viewing all around with the main stand built into banking on the western side. There are plenty of parking spaces.


AndrewG
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Aug 26, 2018, 9:08 PM

Posts: 1493
Location: Lancashire
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Post #1609 of 1654 (3437 views)
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Re: [R.S.Cavendish] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 25th August 2018 (ko 1500)
at Stoneyhill, Musselburgh
Scottish Rugby National League Cup First Round
Musselburgh 53 Biggar 14 (ht 32-0)
Admission - No charge
Programme - None issued
Attendance - 150 (estimate)


A limited choice of rugby fixtures today, with League on its usual Challenge Cup Final day hiatus, and Union still not fully underway. I decided Scotlandís National League Cup, competed for by teams in the three national divisions immediately below the Premiership, was preferable to county cup action in England. The lack of a programme - not too surprising - or any admission charge - which was unexpected - suggests the clubs still half regard this as pre season, but the game was played under the same competitive regulations that govern league fixtures.

Lothian Buses service 26 links Musselburgh with Edinburgh, theoretically at seven or eight minute intervals with a journey time of around forty minutes, though virtually gridlocked traffic conditions made the timetable a work of fiction. The return journey took the best part of an hour to reach Princes Street, but fortunately I had plenty of time. However, the bus stops are only around ten minutes walk from the ground, compared to the railway station being around a mile away. Travelling by bus also gave me the opportunity for a pleasant late morning stroll along the promenade at Portobello, where organised busking slots and beach volleyball was entertaining the crowds, and dropped me in a convenient part of Musselburgh for a JDW lunch and a call at the excellent Staggs Bar, Edinburgh and South East Scotland CAMRAís current pub of the year.

Musselburghís rugby and football grounds are opposite each other on either side of the townís inner bypass, which I crossed on a footbridge, and when I visited for football what must be a decade or so ago, renovation work was taking place on the football changing rooms and the players changed at the rugby club and entered the football ground by a rear gate. When inside either ground, however, the proximity of the other is not that obvious. The clubhouse and changing rooms are in adjacent single storey buildings, a lounge bar in use pre match, with one hand pump dispensing Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted. The kitchen is in one corner of a larger room, and hot drinks were dispensed on a self service basis from an urn, with a honesty box for payment. Outside, a barbeque was up and running, raising funds for the clubís junior section.

The pitch is railed on three sides - the near end being the exception - with most of the crowd watching from grass bankings close to the clubhouse. The area immediately outside the club is quite a shallow banking with picnic tables and benches, whilst a much steeper banking just past the changing rooms also features a bench atop its summit. The groundís most interesting feature, however, lies on the opposite side, a wonderful backdrop provided by the category C listed building, a post war sport and recreation hall provided for the community by Inveresk Paper Mills. Now council owned and run by the rugby club as a community centre, it has a covered colonnade with an open balcony above, accessed by spiral stone staircases, and providing a fantastic viewpoint of the game. The roof of this building holds some of the floodlights, with more regular stanchions containing the rest, and a manually operated scoreboard is utilised in one corner of the pitch.

With Musselburgh not securing their place in Division One until very late last season, this meeting with Division Two side Biggar looked a potentially closer contest than some of todayís other ties. However, Musselburgh emphasised their higher status with a fast start that saw them open up a double digit lead inside the first ten minutes, on their way to running in four first half tries. It didnít look like getting any better for Biggar when they conceded an interception try in the first minute of the second half, but they dug in well after that, as the remainder of the game saw the teams share four tries.

Hopefully, I will have much closer games to come, but an entertaining enough start to my rugby union season in pleasant and mainly sunny weather, made all the nicer by being cooler and less humid than recently.

(This post was edited by AndrewG on Aug 26, 2018, 9:13 PM)


cherryhopper
Chelsea Transfer Target

Sep 1, 2018, 12:04 AM

Posts: 3852
Location: The Premier League town of Bournemouth
Team(s): AFC Bournemouth, Verwood Town, Sunderland

Post #1610 of 1654 (3209 views)
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Re: [AndrewG] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Friday 31st August
Championship
Hartpury 16-5 Yorkshire Carnegie HT 10-0
Attendance 600 est
Admission £15
Programme £2 (36 pages, glossy, match specific)

Scrappy game in which the hosts never looked back after scoring their only try in the 5th minute, a run to the left corner, the try was well converted from a tight angle. A penalty was added on 30 minutes and soon after the visitors missed a chance to get on rhe scoreboard hitting the post with a penalty. The hosts kicked another 3 points early in the second half then with 21 minutes to go, after a near 10 minute spell with hardly any action due to injuries and constant resetting of scrums, Carnegie broke free into the corner for their only try and, as it turned out, only points of the game as the conversion was missed. The hosts responded with a further 3 points which turned out to be the last of the game.

The whole set up at Hartpury reminds me of St Georges Park. There is a floodlit football pitch enclosed by a wooden fence. The main stand in the rugby ground is an extension of the clubhouse with four rows of red and black seats between the 22's. Opposite, four rows of rustic wooden benches are built into a grass bank behind the dugouts which somewhat obscure the view of the pitch from here if not the stunning hill views to the right. Building work is going on behind both ends, I was told a new student bar behind the end to the left of the stand and possibly a new stand behind the end to the right, the corner in between was a no go area.

Only Jersey left to complete the Championship while on Sunday I delve into National League One for Caldy v Birmingham Moseley.


Feversham Lens
First Team Star


Sep 1, 2018, 8:54 PM

Posts: 2775
Location: York
Team(s): Not any more

Post #1611 of 1654 (3151 views)
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Re: [cherryhopper] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 1st September 2018
Wellingborough 38 Leighton Buzzard 15 (HT 17-8)
Midlands One East (level six, 3pm kick-off)
Free admission
Programme £1 (32pp, heavy on adverts but entirely match specific)
Attendance 115 (h/c)
Didn't bother investigating refreshments


Opening games of the season are rarely satisfactory. This certainly wasn't. Stack up all the mistakes (not least in handling, distinctly unimpressive on a dry, sunny afternoon), and you'd have a pile higher than the posts. Of two poor teams, Leighton Buzzard were the most obviously ill-prepared. I feared for them during the warm-up. They couldn't catch the ball, or get their line out right, even when the opposition were down the other end of the field, going through their own drills! At least by the final whistle Wellingborough were looking something like a rugby union XV. Their speedy right wing touched down two well-taken tries, both converted, in stoppage time at the end of the match. Those efforts gave the final score a slightly misleading look, particularly because the visitors, assisted by penalty after penalty awarded in their favour, had dominated the last 15 minutes. Their only reward was a 75th-minute converted try that closed the gap, at 24-15, to nine points.

Leighton Buzzard began fairly promisingly. They led 8-3 after the first quarter. But Wellingborough managed to shake off the summer cobwebs to register converted tries in the 33rd and 39th minutes. Their 17-8 interval lead was stretched to 24-8 in the 56th minute, when a converted try effectively ended the contest. Any flow in the action was affected badly by several injury stoppages. Leighton Buzzard, who to me didn't look fit enough, sustained a number of knocks that led to players being withdrawn. Both these teams finished in this league's bottom five last season. On today's evidence, another tough winter beckons.

Wellingborough's vividly titled Cut Throat Lane ground, very much in the middle of nowhere, is three miles west of the town centre, close to junction 11 of the A45. Well-heeled Great Doddington, half a mile away, is the nearest community. It's the sort of place where the cars are bigger than the cottages. Pre-match, I had a short walk from the village, along a stretch of the Nene Way, and picnicked in a field overlooking ponds on the valley floor. In the warm sunshine, all very pleasant. Cut Throat Lane has three match pitches and a grass training pitch. The first XV and training pitches boast floodlights. Closest to the entrance on Earls Barton Road, the first XV pitch is large, flat, well grassed and fully railed. A small stand - only 10 yards long but quite deep - on the near (west) touchline has three steps of terracing behind a mini-paddock and, at the back, a couple of benches. The clubhouse, a red-brick, single-storey structure, is adjacent. Its bar is very spacious but lacks character and atmosphere. Too big for a club Wellingborough's size. Pitchside, the bar opens out onto a patio with tables. There is plenty of parking - extended recently, by the looks - on the Earls Barton Road side of the clubhouse.

No admission charge which, at this level, came as a real surprise. The match programme was available from a box on the bar, with a half-pint glass serving as an honesty box. There weren't many of them, and I may well have been the sole purchaser. Certainly didn't see any other spectator with one. No effort was made to sell the programme - or seek donations - whilst the game was in progress.

The A1 is usually reliably quiet on Saturdays but during the outward run I got caught up in a long tailback north of Stamford. Cost me about 30 minutes. Turned out to be people flocking to the Burghley Horse Trials. On the return run, heading along the A509, I somehow missed my turn onto the A14 bypass and almost got sucked into central Kettering, surely one of the East Midlands' vilest towns. Today's award for insane driving I give to the blokes I had the misfortune to encounter in roadworks where the A43 (very sensibly) bypasses Corby. A complete dickhead on the outbound run then another heading home. Both nearly took out a line of cones. Reading road warnings is clearly beyond the average Northamptonshire resident.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Sep 1, 2018, 10:48 PM)


cherryhopper
Chelsea Transfer Target

Sep 3, 2018, 11:47 PM

Posts: 3852
Location: The Premier League town of Bournemouth
Team(s): AFC Bournemouth, Verwood Town, Sunderland

Post #1612 of 1654 (2940 views)
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Re: [Feversham Lens] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Sunday 2nd September
National League 1
Caldy 30-27 Birmingham Moseley (HT 10-17)
Attendance 500 est
Admission £10 including programme (24 pages entirely match specific)
Chicken Burger £3
New York style Cheesecake £2

Hosts came back from 10-27 down to win a thriller which more than made up for the tedious game I saw at Hartpury on Friday. They also came back from 0-10 down to level in the first half, a penalty and converted try each, before the visitors retook the lead with a converted try to go in at the break ahead. A further converted try followed soon after by a penalty early in the second half gave the visitors a seemingly unassailable 17 point lead but the hosts clawed back 13 points with a converted try of their own sandwiched between two penalties, one of which was from the halfway line. Moseley, prefer to call them by their original name to avoid getting them mixed up with the other Birmingham (Solihull), then had a chance to make it a 7 point game with a penalty but this turned out to be the only missed kick of the game and, with five minutes remaining, Caldy were knocking on the door but lost the ball only for a Moseley player to fumble it when tackled behind his own try line and a home player picked up the loose ball and grounded it in front of the posts for the winning try and easy conversion.

Paton Field is a basic ground for National League One with no cover but is in a lovely setting among acres of common land with Thurstaston Hill providing a stunning backdrop as well as views across to North Wales at the top of the imposing grass bank on the eastern side where most of the spectators congregated. At the top is a long wooden building incorporating the changing rooms and clubhouse. Venue is shared with cricket, presumably the reason this game and the visit of Loughborough Students on the 16th had been moved to Sunday. As a result the cricket field side is just roped off while the other three sides are railed off with advertising boards, the scoreboards for both sports next to each other in the corner. Behind is a second pitch which is floodlit unlike the main one, while a third pitch beyond was being used for an archery tournament. Just five grounds left to complete the top three levels of English rugby union.


Feversham Lens
First Team Star


Sep 4, 2018, 2:40 PM

Posts: 2775
Location: York
Team(s): Not any more

Post #1613 of 1654 (2849 views)
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Re: [cherryhopper] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Looking to mop up a few outlying RU clubs during a fortnight's sojourn in sunny (well, one can hope) Shropshire...

September 8
Malvern v Stoke on Trent (Midlands One West)

September 15
Newport v Luctonians (Midlands Premier)

September 21
Dudley Kingswinford v Droitwich (Midlands One West)

September 22
Hereford v Bromsgrove (Midlands One West)


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Sep 4, 2018, 2:43 PM)


AndrewG
First Team Star

Sep 5, 2018, 1:05 AM

Posts: 1493
Location: Lancashire
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Post #1614 of 1654 (2783 views)
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Re: [Feversham Lens] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 1st September 2018 (ko 1500)
at Balgray, Kelvinside
Scottish Rugby Premiership
Glasgow Hawks 14 Heriotís 46 (ht 14-19)
Admission - £12.00 inc 4 page programme
Attendance - 250 (estimate)


After a nomadic spell last season due to pitch issues at Old Anniesland, Glasgow Hawks have relocated this season, with Balgray now their regular home. They have played a handful of games here over the years, including one last season, but are the first club side to call Balgray their home since Kelvinside Academicals merged with Glasgow High to form the GHK club. The grounds have remained in regular use for the school fixtures of its owner Kelvinside Academy, with everything bedecked in the blue colours of the school.

Access to the site just off the Great Western Road is easy by public transport - I travelled by First Glasgow bus, whose 6 and 6A services provide up to eight buses per hour, and stop a couple of minutes walk from the entrance. Anniesland and Hyndland railway stations would both be around ten minutes walk away. In their online publicity of their move, Hawks described Balgray as one of the great old rugby grounds of Glasgow, opened in 1900 and with a grandstand built inside its first decade. Iím not sure of the age of the current stand, which has obviously been renovated reasonably recently, but there were photos which looked to date from the 60ís or 70ís with the same basic structure in place. Also, unchanged was the backdrop on the north side, where four rows of semi detached houses rise up the natural hillside, almost as if each is peering over the other for a better view.

Programme was a basic black and white issue, effectively just providing a teamsheet for those who wanted one at the game. A more substantial issue was available online - sometimes at this stage of the season clubs havenít got their outer shell back from the printers, but it may be what they are going to do this year. A modern pavilion stands next to the stand, with changing rooms downstairs - though the players today used changing rooms at the other end of the stand - and bar upstairs. Every table pre match was taken up by hospitality guests, but there was a balcony available overlooking the pitch where there were a number of chairs. Alcoholic refreshment was of the bottled and canned kind only, but they had a couple of very acceptable offerings from the locally based Jaw Brew. Hot drinks were also available.

A couple of rugby pitches lie to the south of the pavilion and stand, at least one of which is small sided, and there is also a floodlit artificial pitch here, used primarily by the school for hockey I believe. The main pitch lies to the north of the off field facilities, and is typical of several Scottish public school grounds, being roped off in front of the stand and open grass standing elsewhere, albeit with a shallow banking offering some elevation on the far side. The stand is not as big or as characterful as some of its Edinburgh equivalents, but, with eleven rows of plastic tip up seats atop an already elevated base, it provides good viewing. No floodlights, dug outs, and, more surprisingly, no scoreboard, though a public address system was used throughout.

Hawks needed a play off win to maintain their Premiership status last season, and have not been selected as one of the teams for next seasonís Super Six structure. Visitors Heriotís have, one of three sides from the capital in the six which looks very geographically unbalanced, but they have been regular challengers in the current structure over recent seasons. Hawks did well in the first half, trailing only by five points at the interval, despite a sin binning seeing them play ten minutes a man short. The second half was a different matter as the Heriotís pack demolished their opponents. Hawks included three professional players from Glasgow Warriors under the pro player draft system, one of whom hardly helped their cause with a late second yellow for what rugby parlance would describe as illegal use of the head. He was probably fortunate it was not a straight red for what on the street may well have been termed a Glasgow kiss.

Sunday 2nd September 2018 (ko 1500)
at Paton Field, Caldy
RFU National League One
Caldy 30 Birmingham Moseley 27 (ht 10-17)
Admission - £10.00 inc 24 page programme
Attendance - 600 (estimate)


Cherryhopper has already covered this game in admirable detail, although, having had time to count spectators on the banking from the photos I took, I have estimated a slightly higher attendance. For me, it was an opportunity to tidy up the ground without revisiting on a Saturday, having previously seen Cheshire play a county championship game here, but not having seen a Caldy home game. That said, it is not a ground I would object to revisiting in good weather, as the setting is glorious. Anyone tempted by their remaining Sunday fixture on September 16th, please note it is currently advertised as a 2pm kick off.

When I was last here a bus service passed right outside the ground. That doesnít run anymore, not Saturday, Sunday or any other day, and the nearest public transport option is to get off the Arriva 437 Liverpool to West Kirby service on the outskirts of West Kirby, from where it is around a one mile walk. I did that pre match, but booked a taxi back after the game for the two mile ride back to West Kirby station as it meant much better connections on the journey home. For anyone who may arrive by train at West Kirby there is a taxi booking office just outside the station, and it was open on a Sunday.

The larger part of the clubhouse was restricted to hospitality guests pre match - which hadnít been the case when I was here for that county game - though for a Saturday game if arriving early (I usually aim to arrive an hour before kick off) that wouldnít be an issue as most of the other early arrivers would be those pre match diners. Sunday at rugby clubs, however, is when their junior teams play, and the place was heaving with youngsters and their families. Having queued for a good ten minutes to get served at the bar - Thwaites Wainwrights the real ale option - I couldnít be bothered with what looked an even longer queue at the kitchen. Fortunately, as I hadnít had lunch, a barbeque had been operating on the patio, and they still had bacon butties available and no queue.

There are a number of bench seats on the banking that offer a fine view of the game. No chance of getting a place on any of them today, but that was also the case when I was last here. I suspect, unless it is raining, it may be easier to acquire a sunbed in a holiday resort full of German tourists. Everywhere being so busy was not helping my enjoyment of the day, but an absolute cracker of a game eventually made it all worthwhile. Avoiding relegation in their first season at this level must have been classed as a success for Caldy, and there is always the suspicion that second season syndrome could make it tougher this time around, but on the evidence of their performance today the Wirral side can hope to more than hold their own.


cherryhopper
Chelsea Transfer Target

Sep 6, 2018, 11:54 PM

Posts: 3852
Location: The Premier League town of Bournemouth
Team(s): AFC Bournemouth, Verwood Town, Sunderland

Post #1615 of 1654 (2646 views)
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Re: [AndrewG] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Were you the chap with short hair and glasses carrying a small yellow rucksack on the cricket field side at Caldy?


mxhornet
First Team Regular


Sep 7, 2018, 7:42 PM

Posts: 1214
Location: Norwich
Team(s): Watford, Celtic, Ajax, Kings Lynn Town and all local ladies teams.

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In Reply To
Saturday 10 March (1500)
London 3 Eastern Counties (Level 8)
Wymondham 24-0 Woodbridge
Attendance 126 h/c
No admission or programme but picked up this season's club handbook.

Comfortably win for the hosts in the last ever league match at Tuttles Lane securing the bonus with four first half tries, the last two converted. Two of the tries were of great quality for this level, the first the ball was passed from the left to the right going down in the corner. The third try was a lovely move of quick hands down the left hand side with the players exchanging passes while stationary like in netball before opening up a gap to the try line. The visitors finally started to make a fist of it in the second half but no further points were scored. Watched in the company of a hopper from Oldham.

Ground railed off with advertising boards on both sides and six small floodlight pylons each side set back 5-10 yards from the pitch. There is a small perspex cover overhanging the clubhouse at the near end which is set back a good 15 yards from the pitch, which had large puddles down the far end but the game went ahead despite this. Was worried they might move it to one of the pitches to the right of the clubhouse where the players were warming up. Was also told they have played home matches on a field elsewhere in the town in the past when their own pitch was unfit, and perhaps if this wasn't the last ever home game at the old ground they may have done similar today. I believe there is one last game here, a friendly between past and present players, on 7th April when they were due to entertain Lowestoft & Yarmouth who have pulled out of the league.


Due to the dry weather during the summer first game at new ground will be 20th October so a few changes to tick the old ground still.



Watford FC supporter hence the name also follow Hull FC but rarely get to see either these days.

Have now visited over 800 grounds, progress in recent years has been rather slow and will continue to be as things stand.


AndrewG
First Team Star

Sep 7, 2018, 8:50 PM

Posts: 1493
Location: Lancashire
Team(s):

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Re: [cherryhopper] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Were you the chap with short hair and glasses carrying a small yellow rucksack on the cricket field side at Caldy?


No - I did walk round to the cricket field side during the first half whilst taking some photos, but I had a black rucksack.



007Dale
First Team Regular

Sep 8, 2018, 8:34 AM

Posts: 1370
Location:
Team(s): St Albans City, Leicester City

Post #1618 of 1654 (2496 views)
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Re: [AndrewG] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Big game today for us (Datchworth) in the London 3 NW division - with the visit of London Welsh.

They apparently are bringing 150 with them having asked if we could cope with 300 - which we couldnít!


Feversham Lens
First Team Star


Sep 8, 2018, 8:06 PM

Posts: 2775
Location: York
Team(s): Not any more

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Re: [007Dale] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 8th September 2018
Malvern 23 Stoke-on-Trent 15 (HT 17-0)
Midlands One West (level six, 3pm kick-off)
Admission £4
Programme (w/a) 40pp (generic cover but plenty of match specific content)
Attendance 135 (h/c)
Didn't bother investigating refreshments


Stoke paid dearly for a slow start and poor goalkicking. Newly-promoted Malvern, nilled last Saturday at Old Halesonians on the season's opening day, required a 79th-minute penalty to shake off progressively dogged opposition.

Non-existent Stoke tackling gifted the hosts tries, run in from distance, in the fifth and 21st minutes. Both were converted, and a 42-metre penalty in the 11th minute enabled Malvern to lead 17-0 at half-time. Stoke fluffed a straightforward ninth-minute penalty, and didn't mount any serious pressure on the Malvern line until the last 10 minutes of the half. The home defence did well to stand firm.

I assume the visitors received an interval ear-bashing because they were on their game from the moment the second half kicked off. A converted try, scored straight from the restart, got Stoke fired up, and a 47th-minute score further boosted their confidence. Unfortunately, the attempt to convert the second try was simply woeful. Malvern landed a 49th-minute penalty before Stoke replied with one of their own in the 75th. The hosts clinched victory with that 79th-minute kick from 30 metres. Overall, little to choose between the teams, especially in the second half, during a contest that didn't reach any great heights. The weather oscillated between rain, cloud and very occasional sunshine.

AndrewG visited Spring Lane only last season, and described the ground in admirable detail. It's an unimpressive arena lifted only by the presence of the Malvern Hills, which rise dramatically to the west. The clubhouse bar, a fine facility, aims for a look somewhere between a barn conversion and an Alpine Youth Hostel. Malvern is an attractive little place but the RU ground finds itself tucked away in one of the least appealing parts of town. The backdrop to the east consists of industrial units and electricity pylons. Behind the north end posts is the HQ of the 2nd Malvern Scout Group. Boy, as kids, we'd have given our mate's woggle for a set-up as impressive as that! Lacking cover, and with hardstanding only on the clubhouse (west) side, multi-pitch Spring Lane is a ground to save for a clement afternoon. Thankfully, today's weather was rather better than forecast.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Sep 8, 2018, 8:23 PM)


AndrewG
First Team Star

Sep 9, 2018, 7:55 PM

Posts: 1493
Location: Lancashire
Team(s):

Post #1620 of 1654 (2297 views)
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Re: [Feversham Lens] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 9th September 2018 (ko 1500)
at Fenley Field, Bilton
RFU Midland Division Midlands Two West (South) (Level Seven)
Old Laurentians 16 Kenilworth 34 (ht 9-10)
Admission - £3.00 inc 28 page programme
Attendance - 120 (estimate)


Old Laurentians take their name as the old boys association of Lawrence Sheriff School, a grammar school located in the centre of Rugby. Their ground is on the south western edge of the townís built up area, and is a busy spot today. As well as the 1st XV game, a colts match against cross town rivals Newbold attracts a crowd close to three figures, presumably mainly parents and friends as few of them show any interest in the other game when theirs is first to finish. In addition, Rugby and East Warwickshire Hockey Club have their changing rooms here - their pitches are elsewhere - and must have had an early game as a group of players are in the clubhouse enjoying post match hospitality when I arrive. Not surprisingly then, parking is at a premium, but despite excellent bus links I see no evidence of anyone other than myself arriving or leaving by public transport. Stagecoach service 4 runs at 15 minute intervals from the town centre, stopping five minutes walk from the ground, and conveniently continues out the other side of town to pass the railway station.

A driveway leads from the entrance, passing side by side pitches on the right. The first, roped on each side is the one staging the colts game, with the first team pitch beyond that. An artificial cricket wicket stands between the two, but the grass around it is not closely enough mown to suggest it has been used this summer. A third rugby pitch stands at right angles beyond a drainage ditch and hedgerow to the west, unused today and the only one in the complex equipped with lights. The clubhouse is located in one corner of the first team pitch at the end of the driveway, with changing rooms to the rear. Large windows give a view out over the pitch from a building that looks like it has given a good many years service. It is also surprisingly spacious inside - despite the usual rugby pre-match meal and the aforementioned hockey players, there are still quite a few seats to be had. One hand pump at the bar has Batemans XB available, and sandwiches and hot drinks can also be purchased here.

The first team pitch is railed on each side, with dug outs and a small stand on its southern touchline. The stand dates from 1999 according to a plaque marking its opening, with three rows of wooden bench seating and a row of plastic tip up seats at the rear. There is also some bench seating built onto the outside of the clubhouse, and a few benches behind the posts at the eastern end. An old fashioned scoreboard is attached to the clubhouse wall, and is used. Farmers fields filled with sheep stretch away to the south, and, with hedgerows and tress forming the boundaries, it is an idyllic spot. Unbeknown to me until I was doing my forward planning for today, Old Laurentians had been planning to leave here to develop new facilities at a nearby school, plans that have recently been scrapped. Programmes are dispensed at the spot the driveway opens out onto the two pitches, presumably to those honest enough to declare they are there for the first team game, and, at a level where issuing cannot be taken for granted, it is a decent entirely match specific affair.

Kenilworth finished third in this division last season, Old Laurentians fifth in Midlands Two East (South). With no teams being relegated into this league - all three teams coming down from Midlands One West went north - there should be good opportunities for both to challenge for promotion this time around. This is the opening day of the season, and, after Kenilworth narrowly fail to convert a knock down in the early stages, it is penalty kicks that see the hosts build a 9-3 lead. Tries either side of the break give Kenilworth an advantage, and a further score just past the hour mark opens a 22-9 lead. However, Old Laurentians cross the line next to move to within one score, only to rather shoot themselves in the foot after that. The hosts concede again pretty much straight from the restart, and then cough up position in an attacking position for Kenilworth to complete the scoring with a length of the field break.

Rugby is something of a pain to reach by train - despite Virgin operating the station and all their fast trains to the north west passing through, none actually stop here. However, an enjoyable day is rounded off well today by all my connections working out as planned. Still need at least two more visits for the six rugby union clubs in town. Newbold and Old Laurentians now done, Rugby Lions and Rugby St Andrews still needed - the two residing in the murky depths of Midlands Five probably wonít feature on my radar other than as possible back ups.


Feversham Lens
First Team Star


Sep 15, 2018, 7:03 PM

Posts: 2775
Location: York
Team(s): Not any more

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Re: [AndrewG] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 15th September 2018
Newport (Salop) 15 Luctonians 13 (HT 7-10)
Midlands Premier (level five, 3pm kick-off)
Admission £5
Programme (w/a) 32pp (glossy, game specific)
Attendance 265 (h/c)
Hot drinks £1, hot dogs £1.50 (didn't sample)


Full-back Liam Holder's 25-metre penalty, landed in the third of eight minutes' stoppage time, secured a deserved Newport victory in a meeting of clubs who had won comfortably their first two league games. Port leapfrog Luctonians into second place, a point behind Scunthorpe, the only other team with three straight wins to their credit.

Scrum-half Sam Boxhall's penalty gave the visitors a 10th-minute lead. In the 22nd minute, Sam Brown completed a good Port move to cross in the corner, Holder converting for a 7-3 advantage. George Newman went over for Lucs seven minutes later, Boxhall's extras edging his team ahead at the break, albeit only after Holder was fractionally wide with a 31st-minute penalty. Within five minutes of Port hooker and skipper Tom Cowell's 46th-minute yellow card for collapsing a rolling maul, Jack Price raced in from 50 metres. Holder couldn't convert, and a 56th-minute Boxhall penalty edged Lucs a point ahead. Port went close a couple of times before Holder delivered the decisive blow. A bit of an arm wrestle but absorbing enough. Port are hoping to go one better after missing out on a promotion play-off place narrowly last season while Luctonians aim to make an immediate return to level four, where they have spent the last eight campaigns. On this (and earlier) evidence, both teams should be in the mix come the season's end.

Newport play at the Old Showground, former venue of the Newport Agricultural Show (this is farming country). Home since 1981, it is a spacious, multi-pitch site on the northeastern edge of an attractive, affluent little town. Port, founded in 1947, spent the 1949-81 period at neighbouring Chetwynd End. As I've reported in Rugby Union Grounds for Concern, Port need to raise £100,000 by August 2019 to secure their long-term future at the Old Showground, off Forton Road. Though the first XV pitch is large, well grassed and fully railed, it lacks hardstanding, cover and floodlights. An adjacent pitch has training lights. The clubhouse, a single-storey brick structure, tops a grass bank on the south side. Part of the building is a children's nursery. The banking, and another at the west end, is the best vantage point. This corner of Shropshire is scenically rather dull, though low hills are visible to the north.

Decent day out. I called in at lovely Lilleshall Abbey's secluded ruins en route from Coalbrookdale, and spent a pleasant hour or so exploring Newport's mostly Georgian High Street and attractive parish church. The RU club were staging a beer festival in the clubhouse but, having no interest in booze nowadays, I took little notice. The beer seemed to be dispensed by gravity from a selection of casks. Pre-match, the contents appeared to be going down well.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Sep 15, 2018, 7:26 PM)


Mike S
Reserve Team Regular

Sep 16, 2018, 10:33 PM

Posts: 536
Location:
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Post #1622 of 1654 (1894 views)
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Re: [Feversham Lens] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Wasps 41 Leicester 35
Admission £24 cheapest available Prog £3.50
Attendance guess at 14000

After about 90 games of RU, I have finally seen a premiership game, having been out off by high prices and from what I have seen on Tv, little free flowing play

The reality was different, two teams that could not defend and to my surprise attempts to score tries not penalties resulted in a really enjoyable game. I expect some purists might have grounds to decry the quality but with my lack of understanding of scrum and penalties it was great to see some excellent running rugby

I was also impressed by the stewarding and the ease of buying tickets. I only went as finsihed working at 2.15 in Bedworth so had to pay a lot to park but even made a quick getaway

Prog was a small book but did not buy


AndrewG
First Team Star

Sep 16, 2018, 11:21 PM

Posts: 1493
Location: Lancashire
Team(s):

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Re: [Mike S] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 15th September 2018 (ko 1500)
at Pearcecroft, Stratford-upon-Avon
RFU South West Division South West One East (Level Six)
Stratford-upon-Avon 7 Oxford Harlequins 34 (ht 7-24)
Admission - £5.00 inc 24 page programme
Attendance - 180 (estimate)


Stratfordís rugby club are based in that part of the town on the eastern side of the River Avon, very much on the opposite side of the town centre to the railway station, which is probably a little over a mile away. Not sure of the distance as I broke the walk out to the ground with a stop for lunch and a stroll along the river, whilst, after the game, a conveniently timed bus - Stagecoach service X17 passes at half hourly intervals - took me back to the town centre. The time saved allowed me to make a call at the excellent Stratford Ale House, which is passed on the walk back from the centre to the station.

The ground is entered via a driveway between houses, with two pitches, unused today, away to the right, and the main pitch and all its facilities to the left. A track extends around three sides of the ground allowing cars to park on each side, with a grassed strip then extending down to the fully railed off pitch. Admission is charged and programmes dispensed as you reach the end of the entrance drive - the programme a 20 page shell with a 4 page match specific insert. The other corner on the eastern side of the pitch features a manually operated scoreboard, alongside which is a hut, presumably to keep the scoreboard operators dry on a wet day. Somewhat unusually for rugby union, the main pitch is floodlit, but the outer pitches are not.

The clubhouse is on the western touchline, sited upstairs above the changing rooms in a building that has the club name picked out in large letters on its frontage. Real ale is available in the form of Pure Gold from the locally based Purity Brewery, whilst the kitchen hatch at the opposite end of the single room has hot food and drinks on sale. A pre match buffet lunch is being served, but there are plenty of seats available. The far end of the room leads to an entrance at the rear of the attached wooden stand - probably the main entrance to the building at one time, as the entrance and stairs at the other end are a very obvious more recent addition. The stand is of the groundhopping porn type, six rows of wooden bench seats, but rather too many posts and obstructions to make it the best viewing point on a dry day. There is also further standing cover in front of the changing rooms from the overhang of the upper floor.

Stratford are in their second season of having been switched to the South West Division to even out the numbers - I suspect at Level Six it is an arrangement they are quite happy with. I imagine it would be very different if they were to do anything silly like getting promoted which would involve trips to Devon and Cornwall, but there is little danger of that as they suffered a third defeat in a row today. Visitors Oxford Harlequins, colourfully attired in maroon, amber, white and dark blue quartered shirts, raced in three tries in the first fifteen minutes, all created and scored by fine work from their backs. Stratford quickly pulled a score back, but the visitors wrapped up the try scoring bonus point before the interval, and added two more in the early stages of the second half whilst the hosts had a man in the sin bin. Those last three tries all came through the forwards, marking a fine all round effort from the Oxford team, with no addition to the score in the last 25 minutes. Possession was probably more evenly shared than a 6-1 try count would suggest, the difference being how much more dangerous the visitors looked when they had the ball.


Feversham Lens
First Team Star


Sep 21, 2018, 10:39 PM

Posts: 2775
Location: York
Team(s): Not any more

Post #1624 of 1654 (1541 views)
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Re: [AndrewG] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Friday 21st September 2018
Dudley Kingswinford 24 Droitwich 0 (HT 12-0)
Midlands One West (level six, 7.45pm kick-off)
Admission £5
Programme (w/a) 28pp (cover and most of the content game specific)
Attendance 350 (h/c)
Burgers, chips and hot drinks available (didn't bother)


Heathbrook's first league game under lights proved a pretty turgid spectacle. Other than Dudley Kingswinford's four tries, securing their third win in four outings and a bonus point, there was little to excite a good sized crowd. Droitwich, bottom of the table and suffering a fourth consecutive defeat, offered little other than dogged defence. Second best at the set-piece, the sloppy-handling visitors managed just one - fleeting - excursion into the opposition 22. Left wing Tommy Walker (74mins and 80+1mins) crossed twice in the closing stages to give the Blue & Blue, content for the most part to play through their forwards, a flattering margin of victory. Centre Sam Vaughan (36mins) scored the try of the match after a 'crash ball' break by full-back Gareth Brown. Debutant hooker Rhys Davies (11mins) opened the scoring with a close-range charge. Vaughan converted the second and fourth tries. Both teams had two players sin-binned. It was 14 versus 13 by the final whistle.

Heathbrook, in Wall Heath rather than either Dudley or Kingswinford, is an impressive set-up, off the A449, on the edge of open country. It boasts five pitches. The first XV pitch, large, flat, fully railed and in pristine condition despite two days of heavy rain, is dominated from the west side by a large stand - opened in 2001 - with five rows of blue plastic tip-up seats. Decent view from the back. Separate buildings, all reasonably modern, on the same side of a spacious, tree-fringed site, are occupied by the clubhouse, dressing rooms and a gym. The adjacent second XV pitch is also floodlit. This evening's crowd was noticeably less middle class than one finds generally at rugby union.

Dudley Kingswinford are consolidating at level six after several seasons in freefall. The woman in the club shop (lapel badges available for £2) told me the club overreached itself. Paying unsustainable player wages, the Blue & Blue's ambitions resulted in local lads losing their places in the squad to a succession of costly imports. When the money ran out, DK tumbled down the leagues, sustaining what often seemed to be week after week of hammerings. Local lads now make up the entire squad. Heathbrook's lights were switched on for the first time last season. This season, the Blue & Blue are experimenting with Friday night floodlit games when locally-based opposition agree to the switch. Great idea but, on this evidence, I'd suggest the quality of the rugby needs to improve if crowds the size of this evening's are to be maintained. Something to bear in mind with winter round the corner: I was told DK's first XV pitch, laid on sand and gravel, is an excellent drainer. Fixtures at Heathbrook tend to be lost only to frost.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Sep 21, 2018, 11:24 PM)


cherryhopper
Chelsea Transfer Target

Sep 22, 2018, 7:47 PM

Posts: 3852
Location: The Premier League town of Bournemouth
Team(s): AFC Bournemouth, Verwood Town, Sunderland

Post #1625 of 1654 (1423 views)
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Re: [Feversham Lens] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 22nd September
Hampshire Premier (Level 9)
New Milton & District 6-29 Basingstoke
Attendance 60 est - F + N

Both teams were relegated from London 3 South West last season, Basingstoke fallen from a much greater height having been in National League 3 South in the early 2000's. In wet conditions and the game was 30 minutes old before the first points were added to the electronic scoreboard, a penalty from the hosts. The visitors responded with two unconverted tries late in the half before the hosts reduced the defecit to 4 points with the last kick before the break. The visitors tool complete control in the second half to secure the bonus point with three more tries, the first two converted. The Hampshire leagues have been ruined this season by the inclusion of 2nd XV's and expanding to 3 divisions, the top division rebranded Hampshire Premier with divisions 1 and 2 below.

Ground is in the Ashley district of New Milton just a mile from Hordle where I spent the first nine years of my life and my dad still resides. No cover so watched much of the game from the clubhouse window on the top floor of a two storey building with the changing rooms underneath, this building behind the post by the corner where you enter the ground, only the side to the right is roped off and enclosed by a hedge. A few canvas advertising boards behind the posts in front of the clubhouse while the other two sides are completely open with more pitches behind. I believe New Milton Cricket Club used to play here but now have their own ground in Fernhill Lane.

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