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Where did you go / Where are you going : 2019/20 RUGBY UNION


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Feversham Lens
Chelsea Transfer Target

Nov 24, 2019, 9:50 PM

Posts: 3425
Location: York
Team(s): Not any more

Post #51 of 57 (856 views)
Re: [cherryhopper] Where did you go / Where are you going : 2019/20 RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 23rd November 2019
Leicester Forest 17 Market Bosworth 24 (HT 5-14)
Midlands Two East, South (level seven, 3pm kick-off)
Free admission, no programmes (an Aspull-sized sigh)
Attendance 78 (h/c)
Free finger buffet in the clubhouse (didn't bother because I had my own picnic)

Vile weather, and a grim aquaplane down the M1 then back up a similarly sodden A1, but a decent derby on Forest's resilient plastic pitch. As the Hinckley Road ground's floodlights struggled to pierce the autumnal mizzle, Market Bosworth found themselves on the defensive for long periods. They tackled well, though, and took the few try-scoring opportunities they created. Unusually, for the version of rugby which is essentially a kicking game allowing handling, Forest opted to form a scrum, with head and feed, on four occasions when awarded penalties in front of the posts. To no obvious benefit. The coach watching from the sidelines in front of me was not best pleased!

Forest had the boost of a fifth-minute try but the visitors crossed in the 19th and 26th for a nine-point interval advantage. A 40-metre solo effort less than a minute after the restart saw Bos move 19-5 ahead. Forest dominated thereafter but appeared incapable of shifting the ball wide when near their neighbours' line. The pick and drive from a yard, repeated ad nauseam by one immobile forward after another, has to be modern rugby union's dullest ploy - and biggest curse. Forest reduced the arrears to seven points with a 55th-minute try then failed to capitalize on a 61st-minute sin-binning for the Bos No 7. In the last minute of normal time, Bos broke away through a fly hack and eventually got over in the corner. Two second half visits to the Forest 25 yielded two tries! Forest went straight up the other end and in the first minute of stoppage time touched down their third try.

AndrewG was here - in Kirby Muxloe rather than Leicester Forest East, if the road signs are positioned accurately - at the end of last season, so I won't bother adding to his exhaustive description of fairly bland facilities. Trouble with these RFU-funded 'AGPs' is they all look exactly the same, not least when there is neither stand nor scenic backdrop. I was told Forest pipped Blaby-based Vipers to the Leicester area's AGP. The two-storey clubhouse, opened in 2003 by Leicester legend Dean Richards, has a balcony rendered redundant for first XV games because the presence of a water main prevented the AGP being laid next to it. Those who CBA to walk the 75 yards or so to the plastic paradise should bring along binoculars.

Leicester Forest RUFC are the product of multiple mergers. The present club were formed in 1997 when West Leicester (1963) and Old Bosworthians (1955) joined forces. West Leicester were the product of a merger between Old Ricardians and Highfields Medway, clubs which date from the Twenties.

For reasons known only to himself, Leicester Forest secretary Ian Clarke, replying to my Friday text, informed there would be a match programme for this fixture. And there wasn't, which rather ticked me off, to put it mildly. Thanks, fella. Should've gone to bloody Coalville.

Work commitments mean that's me done, hopping-wise, until Boxing Day.

(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Nov 24, 2019, 10:05 PM)

First Team Star

Nov 26, 2019, 12:27 AM

Posts: 1549
Location: Lancashire

Post #52 of 57 (746 views)
Re: [Feversham Lens] Where did you go / Where are you going : 2019/20 RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Two very new grounds for my last two games - one a move well documented on here - the other not covered at all as far as I can remember, certainly I was unaware of the move until researching my game.

Saturday 16th November 2019 (ko 1415)
at Blackberry Lane, Stafford
RFU Midland Division Midlands Two West (North) (Level Seven)
Stafford 32 Tamworth 6 (ht 15-3)
Admission - No charge
Programme - 28 pages, £2.50
Attendance - 250 (estimate)

Stafford had officially opened their new home three weeks previously with a triple header of fixtures (1st, 2nd and 3rd XVís), and this was just their second first team game here. First things first, the official name of the new ground is Coopers Park, but that is a sponsorship related name, so it could well change a year or two down the line. The club have also from time to time referred to the ground as the County Ground, which was also the name of their old ground, so potential for confusion there. To avoid any doubt, for anyone who may be using the search facility on here for info some time in the future, I have named the ground by its address.

It is nice to have a new build ground so centrally located - it is also right next to the main west coast railway line, so I have been able to follow progress whenever I have been travelling south. I made my way out to the ground via the town centre, where the Slaterís brewery tap is a welcome new addition to Staffordís real ale scene since I was last here, located at the northern end of the pedestrianised main street (so also handy for anyone heading to Stafford Rangers), with five of their own brews on offer. I broke the return trip at the Railway Inn (a couple of Timothy Taylorís brews available), but the direct walk from railway station to ground cannot be more than fifteen minutes. Access to the ground is via a quite lengthy driveway, which is lit but without a footpath, however it appeared a path is being laid to give direct access from the car park to the residential street that runs parallel to the driveway.

The clubhouse is predictably impressive, with two rooms served by a central bar, whilst there is also an upstairs room with its own balcony for vipís. Three hand pumps available at the bar, the offerings being standard Marstonís provided fayre, namely Hobgoblin, Pedigree and Wainwrights. Hot drinks and food could be had from the kitchen hatch. A club official had programmes for sale in the clubhouse - itís cover stated its £2.50 price as an admission charge - however, no effort was made to sell them either at the entrance or at pitch side - you had to go and search them out if you wanted one.

There are four pitches in total, the main one immediately outside the clubhouse has an artificial surface, is fully railed with hard standing all around and is floodlit, the lights very welcome this afternoon despite the early start in the gloomiest of weather. A second pitch alongside, this one grass, is also fully railed and floodlit, whilst two further more basic grass pitches stand beyond these two. One of these was hosting a kids football game as my train passed by in the morning, so, after a week of wet weather, drainage is obviously good. One further thing to note on the main pitch, a stand with four rows of plastic tip up seats on a metal base - a little bit Atcost like in style, but a decent size. I heard a spectator say it hadnít been there at the opening game, and was still a work in progress, lacking a roof and access steps. However, passing on the train a week later, I noted the roof was now in place.

Stafford look to have assembled a team well suited to their artificial pitch, and at times they ripped their visitors apart in midfield. Tamworth had the edge at the breakdown and set piece, and the game may well have followed a very different course had it been played on a mud bath of a grass surface. The visitors, rather against the odds, just about stayed in touch at 6-15 down until the hour mark, but Staffordís third try effectively ended the game as a contest, and they went on to run in five tries as they collected a bonus point win with something to spare.

Saturday 23rd November 2019 (ko 1500)
at Syon Lane, Osterley
RFU London and South East Division London Two North West (Level Seven)
Grasshoppers 23 Hackney 18 (ht 8-15)
Admission - No charge
Programme - None issued
Attendance - 80 (estimate)

On looking up where Grasshoppers played, this immediately looked a ground worth visiting, and it certainly lived up to expectations. Syon Lane station is within easy walking distance, but it seemed quicker to reach here from Euston via Hammersmith and then the H91 bus to Gillette Corner, named after the former hq of the razor company, and whose iconic clock tower is visible from the ground. A change at Hammersmith allowed time for a call at Craft Brew Co pub at Hammersmith Broadway. A good range of cask ales to choose from, and the Nomadic Fenrir Stout that I tried even came served with a proper head!

Grasshoppers were previously based just across Syon Lane at the Macfarlane Sports Ground, and they moved here at the start of last season, the former Conquest Sports Ground having lain derelict for some time. The move was tied in with the building of a new school that adjoins the ground, and the conversion of the old ground into school sporting facilities, so I am not sure how much of the reported £10 million cost the rugby club had to stump up, but they have certainly emerged with a fantastic new home.

The clubhouse is a two tier affair, clad in the clubís green, gold and black colours. Changing rooms are downstairs, with social facilities upstairs, two rooms served by a central bar. The larger Conquest Bar was hosting a pre match lunch, with regular spectators invited to use the Memberís Bar. Two hand pumps offered a choice between London Pride and Doom Bar, whilst hot drinks could also be had from the bar. Hot meals were also available to order. Both bars open out on to a balcony that stretches most of the length of the main pitch, and provides a fantastic viewpoint of the game. Steps lead down from the balcony to two blocks of four rows of open seating set into the steep sections of grass banking that enclose the pitch along much of this side. After a wet morning the seats were not in the best of condition to use, but it is a very unusual and eye catching layout.

The main pitch is again an artificial one, and is railed on three rails, with the far end out of bounds to spectators where it backs directly onto the Piccadilly Line running in a cutting out of sight. There is hard standing on the clubhouse side and at the school end, with an electronic scoreboard facing the clubhouse updated throughout. The far side is grass standing and opens out onto two further pitches, both grass ones, set at right angles to the main one. All three pitches are floodlit. Also alongside the clubhouse are floodlit netball courts, that sport forming the other arm of the Grasshoppers club.

It often bodes well for a close game if the lower ranked team takes the lead, and that happened here as Hackney opened up a 12-0 lead. Grasshoppers gradually fought back, and it was 15-15 ten minutes after the interval, and stayed that way for much of the second half. A penalty eventually put the hosts ahead, and they opened up an eight point lead after a Hackney handling error from the restart. However, Hackney secured a penalty of their own to move into losing bonus point territory, and the hosts were left hanging on at the end after having a player sin binned for a high tackle.

(This post was edited by AndrewG on Nov 26, 2019, 12:36 AM)

Qatar World Cup bid member!

Nov 29, 2019, 11:26 PM

Posts: 19438
Location: Surrey
Team(s): Tranmere Rovers, South Liverpool (the South will rise again), Cammell Laird

Post #53 of 57 (621 views)
Re: [AndrewG] Where did you go / Where are you going : 2019/20 RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Friday Nov 29, KO 7.15pm
WRU Div 1 East Central
Treorchy 20-7 Cambrian Welfare
Guess over 500 in attendance
Adm £5 inc prog

On the very rare occasions I've ever contemplated attending my first rugby union match the idea of doing so in the Welsh Valleys has appealed most. I'd never got round to it but a freak set of circumstances too boring to go into meant tonight was the night, right in the heart of the Rhondda.

I always enjoy visiting this part of the world, the villages reek of history and the scenery stirs the senses. The drive up and over Bwlch Mountain at dusk was spectacular, as was the view from the lay-by at its summit, peering out for miles beyond and offering an aerial view of Treorchy just a couple of miles away in the valley below.

With the surrounding hills I imagine the ground is quite picturesque in daylight but even under lights it's worth a look. It's just off the town centre, only a few minutes walk from the station, has a big car park (accessed from the side road by Lidl...not entirely obvious on googlemaps) and is situated in a shallow natural bowl. Ten steps of uncovered terracing with crush barriers run the length of the near side with five steps running behind the left hand goal. On the far side is a covered stand (around 50 yards long) with half a dozen rows of wooden planks on breezeblock and the other end is just flat hard standing, backed by a grass bank, on top of which is the (manual) scoreboard. Hot drinks and cold snacks are served in portacabins by the turnstile.

No clubhouse on site though I'm not sure if they have a place on the High Street. No need for that, though, when you've got the CAMRA multi-award winning Pencelli Hotel within walking distance, just the other side of the station. Five ales on cask (Glamorgan brewery's Cwrw Gorslas, Grey Trees' Diggers Gold, Tiny Rebel's Juicy, Brecon Brewing's Gold Beacons, and Titanic's Plum Porter) - I tried the first three and they were bang on form. Having eaten I passed on a chippy tea from the nearby Fish Called Rhondda and headed into the ground, where a Tom Jones medley was pumping through the tannoy.

Bitterly cold - one degree when I parked up, then the pitch and surrounds frosted over during the game, then it seemed to thaw a bit late on and, when I got back to the car at full time, it was again one degree. As for the game itself, the Zebras looked in complete control after running in three tries but Cambrian battled hard and were probably worth their late consolation. Otherwise it just seemed to be lots of breaks in play, plenty of kicking into touch and a big punch up at the final whistle. But what do I know?! Only that peanut-hugging ain't for me, but I'm glad I finally tried it.

First Team Star

Nov 30, 2019, 3:26 PM

Posts: 1754

Post #54 of 57 (591 views)
Re: [paulh66] Where did you go / Where are you going : 2019/20 RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


Pembrokeshire Cup
@ Spring Gardens
Attendance : 153

With a biting easterly wind dropping the temperature to nearly zero the two teams made a good effort in this quarter-final encounter.
Tenby kicked a penalty from halfway after half an hour then scored a converted try just before the break. Another penalty extended their lead before Whitland replied with a try and a late penalty.
The draw for the semi-finals will be made in the New Year.

First Team Star

Dec 3, 2019, 10:50 PM

Posts: 1549
Location: Lancashire

Post #55 of 57 (468 views)
Re: [R.S.Cavendish] Where did you go / Where are you going : 2019/20 RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 30th November 2019 (ko 1500)
at Shaftesbury Park, Frenchay
RFU National League Two South (Level Four)
Dings Crusaders 27 Henley 36 (ht 15-5)
Admission - £5.00 inc 12 page programme
Attendance - 316

With a widespread forecast of frost and fog, I played the safe option of an artificial pitch. Whilst most rugby union clubs have their roots in a privileged background, The Dings was a Victorian slum area of Bristol, and the Shaftesbury Crusade a Christian mission in the area that encouraged sporting activity, explaining both the name of the club and their new home that they moved into in early 2018. Arriving from the north by public transport, Bristol Parkway is the most convenient railhead, with First services 19 and 19A linking the station and stops right outside the ground in around fifteen minutes. The Beaufort Arms, facing Stoke Gifford village green, provided a lunch and real ale option, just a few minutes walk from the railway station.

This is another highly impressive new build, with, in typical rugby union fashion, the facilities centred around a superb clubhouse. The social facilities are all upstairs, with two large rooms served by a central bar, one hosting a pre match meal and the other available for regular supporters. Two hand pumps at the bar serving London Pride and St Austell Tribute, and with representatives of the latter company sponsoring the match, purchase of their product came with a free Tribute branded woolly hat. The kitchen hatch was open throughout the afternoon with a wide range of hot food and drinks on sale, including soup that was very welcome on a bitterly cold afternoon.

The ground has three pitches, with a railed grass pitch to the south of the clubhouse, that is overlooked by a balcony on that side of the building. The main pitch, floodlit obviously and with its artificial pitch is immediately north of the clubhouse, and beyond that a more basic grass pitch equipped with training lights. A stand is built onto the front of the clubhouse, with four rows of seats accessed directly from the bar areas, all offering an elevated view beneath a high cantilevered roof, and the convenience of being able to nip inside to warm up at half time. Steps at either end of the stand lead down to pitch side, where there is hard standing all around with a proper metal pitch side barrier, rather than the white plastic type that is now so common. Dug outs and a photographerís gantry stand on the far side, along with an electronic scoreboard, with the only negative point of the ground being itís noisy neighbour the M32, which passes just a few hundred yards beyond the posts.

Iíd happily see all rugby union played on artificial surfaces, as they usually lead to an open flowing game, and todayís game was a fine example that provided fantastic entertainment. Promotion chasing Henley took an early lead, but were pegged back as Dings enjoyed the better of the rest of the first half. A flying start to the second half put Henley in control, with three tries in eight minutes, but Dings got the next score to put the game in the balance at 20-24. Two further Henley scores, both from driven mauls, put them out of reach, yet Dings crossed from the last play of the game for a richly deserved bonus point, the 4-6 try count a fair representation of the entertainment on offer.

First Team Star

Dec 5, 2019, 6:52 AM

Posts: 1622
Location: Norwich
Team(s): Watford, Celtic, Ajax, Kings Lynn Town and all local ladies teams.

Post #56 of 57 (386 views)
Re: [AndrewG] Where did you go / Where are you going : 2019/20 RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Wednesday 04-12-19
UEA Women - 36 Worcester University Women - 24
BUCS Midlands 1A
Colney Lane
Attendance - 20ish

I'd turned up at Colney Lane expecting to see women's football, ie UEA 2nds v DMU 1sts, however on arrival the goals were being moved off of pitch three so I thought they were using pitch two a little further along and I could see nothing on pitch two, however I could see that players were on pitch one, this was the men's 2nds who were hosting Northampton. A few minutes to scheduled kick off (2pm) and it didn't look like it was starting very soon. So with me due to start work at 5pm I opted for rugby to make for an easier get away for myself. As the rugby pitches came in to view I could see the men's game on pitch two (a pitch I've not see a game on) was already under way and the on pitch one they were seconds away from starting so I opted for the women's game and almost immediately remember this was a repeat of a game I'd seen last season, which was 83-0 to Worcester and the reverse fixture I later found out was 60-19 also in their favour.
Therefore quite a surprise what unfolded, UEA were 14-0 up after just 8 minutes following two long range converted tries. However Worcester's expected fight back came with a try after 17 minutes and another which was converted three minutes later and UEA led 14-12 but I'd think they would hang on though. But they scored two more converted tries in the last 6 minutes of the half to lead 28-12 at half time. Worcester scored early in the second half to make it 28-17 and looked like they might have finally got a grip on the game with a converted try to make it 28-24 and with 15 minutes to go they thought they would win from this position, however it was UEA who scored the remaining points, a try with 6 minutes to go giving them a 9 point lead but the result still seemed very much in the balance. UEA scored a penalty with the last kick of the game to make it 36-24.
Not the afternoon I'd planned but a very entertaining alternative it was.

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.

First Team Star

Dec 5, 2019, 11:56 AM

Posts: 1580
Location: Coventry
Team(s): Solihull Moors

Post #57 of 57 (354 views)
Re: [AndrewG] Where did you go / Where are you going : 2019/20 RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday November 30th Championship Cup Coventry 64 Ampthill 26 Attendance 2067 Ticket £15 concession standing bought on line
The BPA is only a fraction over a 5 minutes walk for me so when Pint Sides editorial duties meant that I was tied up until after lunch this was my only option with my two footballing choices both called off.
The new artificial surface has been a boon for Coventry Rugby Club. We were treated to a feast of running rugby with no penalty attempts at goal being made all game. Cov ran in 10 tries, some of very high quality, with two late tries for the visitors giving a scoreline that didn't adequately reflect the gulf in class between the two teams. Coventry have gone full time this season and although they won't finish above Newcastle will be optimistic of a top four finish with their increased playing budget. I would think that Ampthill would be happy just to survive at this level.

"There's a man with a mullet going mad with a mallet in Milletts".

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