Hopping Mad

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  1. For the first time last season, non-league football had a Wembley Finals Day, with the FA Vase preceding the FA Trophy. Worked well. Scottish rugby union also has a Finals Day, at Murrayfield, with the BT Cup Final the climax of three matches. I'd be much more interested in going to Wembley to watch, say, York v Barrow (Shield), Featherstone v Halifax (Trophy) and Warrington v Leeds (Cup) than I would for one game featuring the same old four or five Super League clubs. In the days when I went to Wembley regularly for the Challenge Cup Final, it was a celebration of the whole sport. Maybe, as per roughyedspud's proposal, it could be again.
  2. I'm not sure about pools. The prospect of dead rubbers - even less appealing than the average Challenge Cup tie as things stand at present - is only too obvious. In football, the FA Cup has had its day. Maybe the same is true for RL's knockout competition. For the big clubs, in both sports, only the league really matters because that's where the prize money and prestige is to be found. Looking at the proposed Pool One: I remember watching Whitehaven give Wigan a right old battle at the Recre in a late 1980s cup-tie. Wouldn't happen now. If Wigan fielded their strongest side, they'd win by 80 points. The likelihood is Wigan would select a 'shadow' team. And who'd want to watch them, even as part of a season ticket deal?
  3. Looking at the last Rothmans year book I have - 1990-91 - the attendances section makes interesting reading. Averages gates for 1981-82 and 1989-90 for the smaller clubs (those still with us): Barrow 4162 and 1997; Batley 1052 and 1506; Dewsbury 1048 and 1227; Hunslet 774 and 1046; Keighley 1576 and 936; Rochdale 888 and 2510; Ryedale-York (and York) 3677 and 2495; Swinton 1567 and 1678; Whitehaven 2710 and 961; Workington 1969 and 691.
  4. Tricky commodity, programmes. As with all collectables, they're worth what someone is willing to pay. A particular programme might be worthless to one collector but, for various reasons, priceless to another. One thing is certain: the collecting market is shrinking rapidly. Very few under-40s collect programmes. I hear stories of people giving up trying to sell collections, having discovered they can barely give them away, and dumping them in the bin. Dealers will give you a fraction of the value because they need to make a decent profit, though a dealer is much more likely to take the lot off your hands. What era are your dad's programmes from? Are they 'big'/significant games or run-of-the-mill fixtures? Defunct clubs or clubs still with us? Condition - no writing, stains or dog-ears - is most important. I'd be interested to see the list, certainly.
  5. Couldn't agree more with this (and Celtic Rooster's previous contribution). I believe we'll end up with about 12 clubs in northern England. All viable, all professional. The remaining heartlands clubs, all now facing a daily struggle to keep their heads above water, will either fold or join the amateurs. It's been my feeling for a long time that, as a result of Super League and the RFL's post-Super League strategy, rugby league has lost more supporters (actually at the grounds not in armchairs) than it has gained.
  6. Thanks for that. I estimated about 400 as well. Seems odd Doncaster came up with the same attendance - 280 - for both the North Wales and All Golds games!
  7. Is the official attendance for the Doncaster-Gloucestershire tie on the back of today's League Express? Didn't get chance to pick up a copy.
  8. Enjoyable tie at Keepmoat Pitch Two, Doncaster. I was impressed with All Golds, who trailed by just two points with 22 minutes left. The visitors' discipline then deserted them, unfortunately, and Doncaster ran in four tries. Three were converted and a penalty added on the hooter to give the final score a misleading look. Would Doncaster be better off playing all their games at the athletics track? Their small crowds seem much better suited to this venue than the cavernous main stadium next door. Pretty good atmosphere in the stand. On this evidence, I'd say All Golds look top-six material. No surprise they beat Keighley last weekend.
  9. The York Press reporter's estimate was 750.
  10. I'm not in Groundhopper's class on this one but I am approaching 200 RL grounds (in the 'nervous' 190s). Couple of the sadly lost traditional venues I somehow missed were the Athletic Grounds and Craven Park. I have been in the supermarket that stands on the site of the former. No, I didn't that would count!
  11. Yes, I know - that's the one I haven't 'done'.
  12. Thanks for shedding light. Now it makes sense. Could prove an expensive blunder!
  13. I certainly did notice the matchday helpers, the healthy number of which was very good to see. Had a chat with a few before kick-off. From what you say, it's going to be a step-by-step process. Be good if the crowds could be pushed between 500 and 1,000. What was the average for the final Raceourse season?
  14. A bit disappointing, if it is the case. Are clubs allowed to switch ties for that reason alone? In my view, All Golds had a decent chance at home. Had they won, they'd have banked the prize money and earned a stab at a lucrative tie in the fifth round. They could still win, of course, but I can't help feeling they've made this tie much tougher.
  15. Anyone know why the Gloucestershire-Doncaster tie was switched? I did ask a Dons official in an email earlier this week but the reply was a cagey "a few reasons". I'd have thought, with home advantage, the All Golds would have fancied winning this. Not displeased, though, because it's a chance for me to see rugby league at a 'new' venue - the Keepmoat athletics track. Just hoping, as a neutral, the visitors play as well as they appear to have done against Keighley last weekend.