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National Conference League ARL 2018

 



Feversham Lens
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Nov 20, 2017, 3:39 PM

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National Conference League ARL 2018 Can't Post or Reply Privately

Perhaps time to get this thread started…

In addition to an ongoing agreement with its title sponsor, Kingstone Press Cider, the NCL has a new sponsorship deal, worth more than £200,000 over three years, for 2018. It is with kit, ball and equipment supplier Rhino and car sales company Arnold Clark (who backed - maybe still do - Warrington-based Rylands Sharks when they were in the NCL). Under the deal's terms, all clubs will wear Rhino kit, and use Rhino balls, for the next three seasons. Adverts for Rhino and Arnold Clark will appear in match programmes.

No official word yet on new members for 2018, though it looks as though Beverley is the sole candidate.

Also, rumoured (but not confirmed) the NCL Challenge Cup is to be abandoned.

Just a thought: how about putting details of midweek NCL fixtures on this thread, rather than having a separate one?


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Nov 20, 2017, 3:41 PM)


Feversham Lens
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Nov 28, 2017, 12:39 PM

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NCL member clubs have voted Beverley IN for 2018. Stanley Rangers (Wakefield) and Waterhead Warriors (Oldham) made successful applications for re-election.

It's not mentioned in the links below but it appears Beverley WILL be playing on the pitch round the back of the town's leisure centre. The Potting Shed, a pub, the club's HQ, is alongside. One or two minor alterations to the ground required, I understand. Beverley will also feature in the 2018 Challenge Cup. First round draw is in a couple of weeks.

http://www.totalrl.com/thumbs-up-for-beverley/

https://mobile.twitter.com/...5262338302738432?p=v


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Nov 28, 2017, 1:05 PM)


Feversham Lens
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Dec 17, 2017, 10:13 AM

Posts: 2656
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Re: [Feversham Lens] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Premier Division newcomers Underbank Rangers have confirmed they will be staying at The Cross, Holmfirth, for the 2018 season. There had been talk of "facility criteria" issues forcing a post-promotion switch to the Lockwood Park ground of Huddersfield RUFC.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Dec 17, 2017, 10:14 AM)


Feversham Lens
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Dec 17, 2017, 10:19 AM

Posts: 2656
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The 2018 fixtures have been released. Barrow Island, on February 24, are the first visitors to Beverley, back in the NCL after a two-decade absence.

http://www.rugby-league.com/...tures-announced-for-


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Dec 17, 2017, 10:20 AM)


AndyE
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Dec 18, 2017, 11:51 PM

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Re: [Feversham Lens] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Do all National Conference League teams normally play on Saturdays ko 14.30?

I'm trying to make sense of who plays when in rugby league. Do I have this about right? Superleague plays whenever Sky wants it to, but Sunday afternoon is just about still the default. In the Championship and League 1, everyone normally plays on Sundays ko 15.00 except:

Toronto Wolfpack (Sat 16.30 local)
Toulouse Olympique (Sat 18.00 local)

Hemel Stags (Sun 14.00)
London Skolars (Sat 15.00)
North Wales Crusaders (Sun 14.30)
West Wales Raiders (Sat 15.00)

I'm sure there are business reasons why the two foreign teams and also London Skolars and West Wales Raiders play their home games on Saturdays. Is there any particular reason why Hemel Stags and North Wales Crusaders kick off earlier than everyone else?


Feversham Lens
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Dec 19, 2017, 10:06 AM

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In Reply To
Do all National Conference League teams normally play on Saturdays ko 14.30?

I'm trying to make sense of who plays when in rugby league. Do I have this about right? Superleague plays whenever Sky wants it to, but Sunday afternoon is just about still the default. In the Championship and League 1, everyone normally plays on Sundays ko 15.00 except:

Toronto Wolfpack (Sat 16.30 local)
Toulouse Olympique (Sat 18.00 local)

Hemel Stags (Sun 14.00)
London Skolars (Sat 15.00)
North Wales Crusaders (Sun 14.30)
West Wales Raiders (Sat 15.00)

I'm sure there are business reasons why the two foreign teams and also London Skolars and West Wales Raiders play their home games on Saturdays. Is there any particular reason why Hemel Stags and North Wales Crusaders kick off earlier than everyone else?

Looks about right to me. Quite a few high summer derby games in the NCL are rearranged for midweek evenings, presumably to avoid the same problem amateur cricket now has: blokes incurring the wrath of wives, partners and children by spending too much of the weekend playing sport (and travelling to and from it).

Your question brings to mind various unusual Sunday afternoon kick-off times from rugby league's semi-professional, winter era. One could understand York kicking off at 2.30, because Wigginton Road didn't have floodlights. But why Barrow? There's a funny story concerning Wigan centre David Stephenson lining up a conversion attempt in the closing stages of a midwinter fixture at York. He was so obviously struggling in the murk, a Wigan fan ran on the pitch to assist with the flame from a lighter. Why did Featherstone Rovers, Huddersfield and Whitehaven find it necessary to delay until 3.30 the start of their home matches? How come Hull FC settled on 3.15 as their preferred kick-off time? Similarly, I can't explain why Hemel Stags and North Wales Crusaders start earlier than 3.0 (though the cynic in me thinks it might be to ensure the many heartlands-based players both clubs employ aren't too late getting home, especially with work the next morning).


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Dec 19, 2017, 10:14 AM)


jrev61
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Dec 19, 2017, 10:30 AM

Posts: 7653
Location: Northampton
Team(s): None

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Re: [Feversham Lens] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

London Skolars may not be able to play some games on Saturday afternoons as there is now a football club (Park View) playing there.



jrev61


Leyther_Matt
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Dec 19, 2017, 11:19 AM

Posts: 1802
Location: Leigh, Lancashire
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In Reply To

In Reply To
Do all National Conference League teams normally play on Saturdays ko 14.30?

I'm trying to make sense of who plays when in rugby league. Do I have this about right? Superleague plays whenever Sky wants it to, but Sunday afternoon is just about still the default. In the Championship and League 1, everyone normally plays on Sundays ko 15.00 except:

Toronto Wolfpack (Sat 16.30 local)
Toulouse Olympique (Sat 18.00 local)

Hemel Stags (Sun 14.00)
London Skolars (Sat 15.00)
North Wales Crusaders (Sun 14.30)
West Wales Raiders (Sat 15.00)

I'm sure there are business reasons why the two foreign teams and also London Skolars and West Wales Raiders play their home games on Saturdays. Is there any particular reason why Hemel Stags and North Wales Crusaders kick off earlier than everyone else?

Looks about right to me. Quite a few high summer derby games in the NCL are rearranged for midweek evenings, presumably to avoid the same problem amateur cricket now has: blokes incurring the wrath of wives, partners and children by spending too much of the weekend playing sport (and travelling to and from it).

Your question brings to mind various unusual Sunday afternoon kick-off times from rugby league's semi-professional, winter era. One could understand York kicking off at 2.30, because Wigginton Road didn't have floodlights. But why Barrow? There's a funny story concerning Wigan centre David Stephenson lining up a conversion attempt in the closing stages of a midwinter fixture at York. He was so obviously struggling in the murk, a Wigan fan ran on the pitch to assist with the flame from a lighter. Why did Featherstone Rovers, Huddersfield and Whitehaven find it necessary to delay until 3.30 the start of their home matches? How come Hull FC settled on 3.15 as their preferred kick-off time? Similarly, I can't explain why Hemel Stags and North Wales Crusaders start earlier than 3.0 (though the cynic in me thinks it might be to ensure the many heartlands-based players both clubs employ aren't too late getting home, especially with work the next morning).

Wasn't Featherstone and Castleford (who still kick off at 3.30 if playing on a Sunday) to do with the end of the shift at the pits? Similarly I think Hull was to allow an extra 15 minutes to get from the docks?


Feversham Lens
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Dec 19, 2017, 11:24 AM

Posts: 2656
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In Reply To

In Reply To

In Reply To

I'm trying to make sense of who plays when in rugby league.

Your question brings to mind various unusual Sunday afternoon kick-off times from rugby league's semi-professional, winter era. One could understand York kicking off at 2.30, because Wigginton Road didn't have floodlights. But why Barrow? Why did Featherstone Rovers, Huddersfield and Whitehaven find it necessary to delay until 3.30 the start of their home matches? How come Hull FC settled on 3.15 as their preferred kick-off time?

Wasn't Featherstone and Castleford (who still kick off at 3.30 if playing on a Sunday) to do with the end of the shift at the pits? Similarly I think Hull was to allow an extra 15 minutes to get from the docks?

Could well be the explanation - for Whitehaven, too (remember when Haven were known as 'Colliers'?). Perhaps the shift patterns in Barrow's shipyards were different to those of the coal mining industry!


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Dec 19, 2017, 11:25 AM)


Mike S
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Dec 19, 2017, 6:20 PM

Posts: 505
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Re: [Feversham Lens] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Coventry do seem to fluctuate between Saturdays and Sundays, although primarily the latter
I was told the Sats were mostly to attract RU fans who have this as their regular day
The actual days they use seem erratic however


oftenscore6
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Jan 4, 2018, 1:05 AM

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Re: [Mike S] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I think it depends on the Superleague club what their default is. Warrington seem to play more Saturdays at home than most. After the Tv schedule is decided, I think it's up to the home team, within reason given the visitor's previous / next game.
Local summer NCL games end up on Fridays sometime, attendances are often pretty good then. Except for Challenge Cup ties, NCL games on Sunday are very rare since Bramley left. Midweek might be the result of a stag do / wedding involving a number of players!



-----------------------------------------------
Last new football ground (832) Kaliningrad Croatia 2-0 Nigeria
With FC United: 130
On the agenda:
July 21: Scarborough Athletic v FC United of Manchester
July 24: Hyde United v FC United of Manchester


AndyE
First Team Star

Jan 7, 2018, 12:32 AM

Posts: 2211
Location: Rochester
Team(s): Chatham Town

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Re: [oftenscore6] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Having looked at the 2018 fixtures, the only two Super League teams playing a majority of their home games on Sunday afternoons are Castleford and Wakefield Trinity. Dragons Catalans are playing on Saturday evenings as usual, and Huddersfield mostly on Thursday nights. All the rest are playing mostly on Friday nights.

Was professional level rugby league always played mostly on Sundays, or did it switch there from Saturdays to avoid being at the same time as football and/or rugby union when it was a winter sport? If so, when did that happen?

Meanwhile, I've done a "how to get to the grounds" document for rugby league, covering the three professional divisions and the four Conference divisions. I'll put this on my website at a point, but for now it's attached below. Please shout if anything is glaringly wrong.


(This post was edited by AndyE on Jan 7, 2018, 12:33 AM)
Attachments: Rugby League.pdf (119 KB)


Feversham Lens
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Jan 7, 2018, 7:59 AM

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In Reply To

Was professional level rugby league always played mostly on Sundays, or did it switch there from Saturdays to avoid being at the same time as football and/or rugby union when it was a winter sport? If so, when did that happen?

Saturday was rugby league's usual matchday until 1967, when the RFL, after a lot of dithering, sanctioned Sunday football. Despite that, Sunday did not become the official matchday for another decade. Interestingly, amateur clubs had played on Sundays since 1955. Now, of course, they hardly ever do. According to Geoffrey Moorhouse's 'A People's Game, The Official Rugby League History, 1895-1995', Barrow, Batley, Huddersfield, Hunslet, Leeds and Whitehaven informed the RFL their players objected to Sunday football "on religious, moral or social grounds".

The first Sunday games were on December 17, 1967. Bradford beat York 33-8 in front of 10,377 and 6,000 watched Leigh defeat Dewsbury 15-10. To circumvent the spirit of the law, a charge was made for a programme, with buyers gaining free entry.

The move to Sunday didn't solve rugby league's biggest problem of the late 60s/early 70s - loss of spectators. Attendances touched rock bottom in 1974-75 (the year I started watching the sport!), when only 800,000 went through the turnstiles. It took until the 1979-80 season for attendances to rise above a million.

Rugby league switched to Sunday mainly to avoid competition with football. In Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, rugby league's heartlands, rugby union has never been a serious competitor for hearts and minds. Even today, Yorkshire's best supported rugby union club averages only 1,800 spectators. That club, Yorkshire Carnegie (product of a merger between the Headingley and Roundhay clubs), plays their home games on Sundays, primarily as a means of attracting fans, engaged elsewhere on Saturdays, of other Yorkshire rugby union clubs.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Jan 7, 2018, 8:21 AM)


AndyE
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Jan 7, 2018, 1:52 PM

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Re: [Feversham Lens] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Thanks Feversham Lens. The objections from the Cumbrian clubs may have contained an element of "Around here, rugby league is the #1 sport and it's football that should move out the way", but the West Riding clubs weren't really in a position to try that one.

If we go back a hundred years, was there a sharper division than today between "rugby league towns" (Dewsbury, St Helens, Wakefield) and "football towns" (Blackburn, Sheffield, Worksop)? Is that the reason why the first group of towns don't have a football team of any great note, while there is little rugby league in the second group?


I know what you mean about rugby union in the Heartlands though. Back in the 90s when I used to watch Saracens, I went to a few away games in the north of England. Orrell (a couple of miles outside Wigan) were a good team at the time, but only got about 700 through the gate. Whether those 700 people went to Central Park as well, or whether watching both sports simply was not done at that time, I don't know.

Liverpool St Helens (who played latterly in St Helens) were at the foot of the Premier League, and I doubt if there were 150 in the ground when Saracens won there on a warm Saturday in March. Much as this was Premier League rugby, it felt like Step 5 football; at that time, probably only Bath, Gloucester, and Leicester routinely got four figure crowds.


Feversham Lens
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Jan 7, 2018, 4:27 PM

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In Reply To
If we go back a hundred years, was there a sharper division than today between "rugby league towns" (Dewsbury, St Helens, Wakefield) and "football towns" (Blackburn, Sheffield, Worksop)? Is that the reason why the first group of towns don't have a football team of any great note, while there is little rugby league in the second group?

Go back to circa 1900, and, certainly in Yorkshire, there wasn't any division between "rugby league towns" and "football towns" because the latter sport barely existed. It's astonishing to look at the number of 'rugby' clubs that functioned (and no longer do) in late Victorian/early Edwardian Yorkshire. 'Lost clubs' include Alverthorpe, Hebden Bridge, Kirkstall, Leeds Parish Church, Ossett and Sowerby Bridge. In Lancashire, add Lancaster, Morecambe, Radcliffe, Rochdale St Clements and Werneth. The Football Association was so desperate to get a foothold in the West Riding, it allowed Bradford City (formerly Manningham RFC, first winners of the Northern Union - ie RL - Championship) to join the Football League without them ever having kicked a round ball. Manningham realised a national, rather than a regional, game was more appealing to spectators, and jumped ship at just the right time.

All very different now, of course, sadly, with the football colussus poised to crush every other sport, though places like Batley, Castleford, Dewsbury, Featherstone, Halifax, Wakefield and Whitehaven are still very much "rugby league towns". In those towns, along with the likes of St Helens, Leigh, Wigan and Warrington, rugby league is often the sport that has first call on local athletes. In Wakefield, anyone with an interest in football generally heads up the road to watch Leeds United. You'll recall Wakefield's rugby union club went bust because, even playing at second tier level, it struggled to attract 200 spectators. And we all know about the disasters that were Wakefield-Emley FC and Wakefield FC.

It used to be said having a rugby league club in your town damaged a football club's chances of achieving anything. Barrow, Halifax, Leigh, Oldham and Workington are good examples, and it took Hull for ever to get a football team in the top division. Bradford City and Huddersfield Town have also had long spells in the doldrums. As for small fry such as St Helens Town, Warrington Town et al, well, nothing further needs to be said.

Once football got a firm grip, post-1905, rugby league suffered, even in its heartlands. Established, semi-pro clubs such as Brighouse Rangers, Broughton/Belle Vue Rangers, Runcorn, Stockport and Tyldesley fell by the wayside.

Prior to going to university, I grew up in three different towns with rugby league clubs: Doncaster, Halifax and Keighley. We (my dad and I) watched all three, along with the towns' respective football teams. In Halifax, certainly, one didn't bump into many people whose loyalties were divided between The Shay and Thrum Hall. Generally, the locals were either one or the other. And nothing much has changed during the intervening years. Interestingly, my dad grew up in Sheffield and, despite attending a grammar school, had to wait until he got a job in Keighley to discover rugby of any description.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Jan 7, 2018, 4:38 PM)


Feversham Lens
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Feb 5, 2018, 8:08 PM

Posts: 2656
Location: York
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Re: [Feversham Lens] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

According to RugbyLeagueonTV.com, FreeSports (Channel 95) plans to show a live NCL match (5pm kick-off) on March 10, 17 and 24.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Feb 5, 2018, 8:11 PM)


Feversham Lens
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Feb 13, 2018, 2:10 PM

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According to RugbyLeagueonTV.com, FreeSports (Channel 95) plans to show a live NCL match (5pm kick-off) on March 10, 17 and 24.

That FreeSports deal runs right through the season, with regular season games up to September 1 earmarked for live coverage. Presumably play-offs after that? There will be televised NCL Wars of the Roses matches (what, no Cumbria?) at Castleford RLFC on June 23 and Headingley on August 29.

Full list of TV games:

March
3 Wigan St Patrick's v Thatto Heath Crusaders; 10 Rochdale Mayfield v Egremont Rangers; 17 Wath Brow Hornets v Kells; 24 York Acorn v Bradford Dudley Hill; 31 Lock Lane v Thornhill Trojans.

April
7 Siddal v Thatto Heath Crusaders; 14 Oulton Raiders v Milford Marlins; 21 Stanningley v East Leeds; 28 Ince Rose Bridge v Featherstone Lions.

May
5 Waterhead Warriors v Oldham St Annes; 12 Siddal v Underbank Rangers; 19 TBC; 26 Hunslet Club Parkside v Myton Warriors.

June
2 Kells v Egremont Rangers; 9 Leigh Miners Rangers v Milford Marlins; 16 Myton Warriors v West Hull; 30 Pilkington Recs v Skirlaugh.

July
7 Underbank Rangers v West Hull; 14 Thatto Heath Crusaders v Hunslet Club Parkside; 21 West Hull v Wigan St Patrick's; 28 Underbank Rangers v Thatto Heath Crusaders.

August
4 Beverley v Dewsbury Celtic; 11 Normanton Knights v Hunslet Club Parkside; 18 Saddleworth Rangers v Leigh East.

September
1 Egremont Rangers v Kells.


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Feb 13, 2018, 2:13 PM)


Feversham Lens
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Mar 10, 2018, 9:45 AM

Posts: 2656
Location: York
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Re: [Feversham Lens] National Conference League ARL 2018 [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

With the new season just a fortnight old, the NCL has its first casualty: Third Division Blackbrook have pulled their open age team out of the competition. The St Helens club had problems towards the end of last season, which resulted in relegation, and clearly haven't resolved them over the winter.


Feversham Lens
First Team Star


Mar 14, 2018, 10:38 AM

Posts: 2656
Location: York
Team(s): Not any more

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In Reply To
With the new season just a fortnight old, the NCL has its first casualty: Third Division Blackbrook have pulled their open age team out of the competition. The St Helens club had problems towards the end of last season, which resulted in relegation, and clearly haven't resolved them over the winter.

Couple of illuminating tweets from Blackbrook after their withdrawal from the NCL:

Despite reports, Blackbrook are thriving despite their issues with open age at the moment. To talk of the club going to the wall is 100% wide of the mark. The club regularly fields over 10 teams every weekend and is still, and will continue to be, a production line of future stars.

The club is in talks with the North West Men's League regarding open age rugby, and is extremely hopeful of continuing within their tier of rugby.


Feversham Lens
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Mar 14, 2018, 4:55 PM

Posts: 2656
Location: York
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In Reply To

In Reply To
With the new season just a fortnight old, the NCL has its first casualty: Third Division Blackbrook have pulled their open age team out of the competition. The St Helens club had problems towards the end of last season, which resulted in relegation, and clearly haven't resolved them over the winter.

Couple of illuminating tweets from Blackbrook after their withdrawal from the NCL:

Despite reports, Blackbrook are thriving despite their issues with open age at the moment. To talk of the club going to the wall is 100% wide of the mark. The club regularly fields over 10 teams every weekend and is still, and will continue to be, a production line of future stars.

The club is in talks with the North West Men's League regarding open age rugby, and is extremely hopeful of continuing within their tier of rugby.

A bit more, posted on a rugby league fans forum, by someone involved with the open age team at Blackbrook (I've edited out the uninteresting stuff):

We decided to resign from the NCL on Friday afternoon (9/3) and made them aware of the situation. I phoned Beverley (opponents on 10/3) straightaway to let them know also. With hindsight perhaps we should have resigned at the end of last season. However we wanted to stay but unfortunately it's not worked out. We have a great squad of 13/14 lads who will turn out every week, and several more who have been finding it difficult to travel due to work or family commitments. I'm sure all clubs have similar issues but our squad has been too small to handle it. Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to go forwards. Open age rugby is alive and kicking at Blackbrook. We have had positive talks with the NWML and we will soon be playing again.

Still no official announcement on the NCL website of Blackbrook's withdrawal...


(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Mar 14, 2018, 4:59 PM)

 
 


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