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Hopping Mad

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  1. You won't find any on Twitter. Why, I don't know. In between informing us when the coach farts, clubs ought to be able to tweet the day's attendance. How difficult can it be?
  2. As a neutral, I attended the Keighley-Doncaster game this afternoon. Don't know how it came across on The Sportsman, but it didn't do a great deal for me. I know it's early in the season, but the play, the odd flash aside, felt mundane. The only time the crowd - 863 (announced) - really got excited was when Cougars wing Mo Agoro got the ball. His four or five barnstorming runs were enough to secure the official man of the match award. Really disappointed with Doncaster. I thought they were very poor. Typified, I would say, by Connor Robinson failing to find touch with a second half penalty. Five tries to one. Keighley held up in goal four times, Doncaster once. 26-6 FT (10-0 HT). Admission was £15 and a very decent 48-page programme (produced by Footie Print & Design) cost £2.50. Had a chat, before kick-off, with a Dons supporter, attending with his son. He said, five years ago, he decided to give up on football. Seeking a rugby alternative, he emailed both Doncaster RLFC and Doncaster Knights RUFC, asking each about ticket prices, family offers, attendance levels and so on. He said the RL club replied within the hour. He is still waiting for a response from the kick-and-clap bods! Well done, the Dons! Two new fans you managed to attract and retain.
  3. Quarters two and three, Cornwall did pretty well. Plenty to build on. I've a feeling it'll be a much closer game next weekend when the new-boys host Midlands Hurricanes.
  4. Very short trip - from one side of York to the other - for me this afternoon. Thornhill Trojans registered their first National Conference League victory - 18-10 - of the season at the expense of Premier Division fellow strugglers York Acorn. Trojans leapfrog winless Acorn, who sink to bottom place. Little between the teams. Dark mutterings amongst the home spectators about the ref "giving Thornhill everything". A converted try gave Trojans a 17th-minute lead. Acorn's former York full-back Ash Robson capitalised on an error to touch down, in the 32nd minute, after a kick to the corner. A near-touchline conversion made it 6-6. Robson, a class above this level of rugby league, finished superbly in the 45th minute to push Acorn 10-6 up. Too wide for the extras to be added. Eight minutes later, Trojans went over - after an impressive handling move - for a converted try, to lead 12-10. That's how it stayed until deep into stoppage time, when Trojans full-back Joel Gibson - Carl's son - scored a fine solo try he also converted. About 220 watching. Three quid admission included a 12-page programme. Shame on the bloke from Thornhill who point blank refused to pay admission. "I'm not from round here," was his excuse. The gateman was too polite to deny him entry. Those who worm out of paying two or three quid to watch NCL rugby league really are the lowest form of spectating life. When a club folds, owing to financial difficulties, freeloaders like that are always the first to ask: "What happened there, then?"
  5. Quite glad I decided against driving over to Colwyn Bay (from York) for this.
  6. Keighley-Doncaster for me. As a neutral, hoping for a tight game. If it's as exciting as the play-off I witnessed between the pair at the end of last season, I'll be very pleased.
  7. Update (3/4), as far as I can tell - additions/amendments/corrections welcome): Rugby Football League Printed match programme: Barrow (£2), Hull (£3), Keighley (£2.50, 48pp), Leeds (£3), Leigh (£3.50), North Wales (£1), Rochdale (£3), Sheffield (£3), Swinton (£3), Toulouse (free, 16pp), Warrington (£3 plus £1.99 p+p through Ignition Sports Media, 40pp), Wigan (£4), York (£3, 28pp). Printed monthly magazine: Castleford (Roar, £2), Wakefield (The Trin, £2), Widnes (We are Widnes, £3). Printed match teamsheet/matchday information sheet: Doncaster, Hunslet, Whitehaven (£1). Digital match programme: Bradford (free, 22pp), Leeds (free), London Skolars (free), Midlands, Newcastle (free, 24pp), Oldham (free, 3pp, PDF), St Helens (free, 20pp), Warrington (free), West Wales (£2). Nothing: Batley, Catalans, Dewsbury, Featherstone, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull KR, London Broncos, Salford, Workington. Others TBC. Note: Whitehaven issued a one-off printed programme for their 26/3 cup-tie with St Helens. Demand so high, a reprint was necessary. Note: Catalans fans produced an unofficial, eight-page programme for the club's 29/1 friendly with Toulouse. Amateur Rugby League Printed match programme: Bentley (£1, 8pp), Clock Face (£2.50, w/a, 24pp), Dewsbury Celtic, Dewsbury Moor (£2.50, w/a), Dudley Hill (£2.50, w/a, 12pp), East Leeds (£3, w/a, 16pp), Eastmoor, Egremont, Hensingham, Hull Dockers, Hunslet Club Parkside (£2), Ince, Kells, Leigh Miners Rangers (£3, w/a), Lock Lane, Millom (50p), Pilkington (£1, 12pp), Seaton (£3, w/a, 12pp), Siddal (£1), Stanningley (£3, w/a), Thornhill, Wath Brow, West Bowling (£1, 12pp), Wigan St Judes, Wigan St Patrick's, York Acorn (£3, w/a, 12pp). Digital match programme: Crosfields (free, 30pp), Hunslet Warriors (free, 20pp), Milford (free, 12pp), Normanton, Thatto Heath (free, 22pp), Woolston (free, 30pp). Nothing (of the NCL clubs): Heworth. Note: Orrell St James did a one-off printed match programme for their 15/1 Challenge Cup first round tie. Others TBC.
  8. Keighley confirm they'll have a printed programme (£2.50) this season. Cougars are teaming up with Footie Print, an operation (based at Oswestry, I think) which designs programmes for 30 or so non-league football clubs. https://keighleycougars.uk/programme-partnership-2022
  9. Looks very much like Keighley will have a printed programme for Sunday's League 1 Lawkholme opener against Doncaster. Social media announcement pending, apparently.
  10. Owing to demand, Whitehaven have ordered a reprint of the one-off programme they issued for last Saturday's Challenge Cup tie against St Helens. Available from next week, apparently. Will it encourage Haven to return to issuing a proper programme for Championship games?
  11. Glorious sunshine above the west Cumbria coast for a visit to NCL newcomers Seaton Rangers' smart and newly improved set-up. The hosts bounced back from last week's 6-56 defeat - their first - at East Leeds by beating Leigh East 38-12. Rangers were leading 18-6 just before the hour when an East player was red carded for aiming a punch at an opponent. In the hothead's absence, Seaton added a penalty then three converted tries. A couple of the tries were from distance. It was 6-6 - a converted try apiece - approaching the end of a tight first half when Rangers crossed again and added the extras for a 12-6 interval advantage. East's first half try, from a move begun just inside their own half, was beautifully worked. In a temperature warm to enough to warrant shorts and short sleeves, a little over 250 turned out to watch. Three quid admission included a glossy, 12-page programme. Victory meant Seaton maintain a 100 per cent home record.
  12. Whitehaven are issuing what in a tweet they describe as a souvenir (I assume that means printed) programme for Saturday's Challenge Cup tie with St Helens.
  13. 4x4 'tank' and BMW drivers. Always seems to be that ilk which behaves appallingly on the roads.
  14. Two teams - East Leeds and newcomers Seaton Rangers - who had won their opening two National Conference League Division Three games met at Easy Road. A comfortable 56-6 victory for East Leeds, who scored 10 tries, five in each half, with eight conversions. 6-6 after 16 minutes. As close as it got. 28-6 at half-time. Highlights were a 65-metre solo try by full-back Luke Littlewood and an almost length-of-the-field interception try from wing Andy Djeukessi, his East Leeds team-mate. Three quid admission included a 16-page programme (a rather odd one, to be honest, with a photocopied, match-specific wrap enclosing a glossy, static shell). But full credit to East Leeds for persisting with a printed programme. Attendance was about 125.
  15. Sad news, which has prompted me to reach over and pluck from a bookshelf my copy of XIII Winters, which Dave edited. Plenty to amuse in the opening chapter, A Tangerine Machine, in which Dave describes the fun (mostly!) he had covering Blackpool Borough's 1978-79 season.
  16. Serious news/current affairs bulletins/programmes being referred to as 'shows'. Last week, a flak-jacketed, helmeted Clive Myrie, reporting from war-torn 'Keev', said: "And more of that later in the show." Whaaaaat? Almost all the guff uttered by TV weather forecasters: 'more especially' 'the overnight period' 'the sun will rise in the morning' 'wind chill factor' 'temperature values' 'rainfall'
  17. I know I'm in a Scot's company when 'internationalist' is trotted out. Ditto 'outwith'. Both good to hear. 'Lugubrious' does it for me, too. Ditto 'North Utsire' and 'South Utsire'.
  18. Myself. When it's used incorrectly. Which it is all the time.
  19. The Neil Hunt Memorial Ground for me this breezy afternoon (12/3), where Heworth - after last week's postponement, playing their first game of the season - condemned NCL Division Two rivals Bradford Dudley Hill to back-to-back defeats. Eight tries to one, with a final score of 42-6. Hill actually took the lead, with a converted try, in the 12th minute. But Heworth hit back by scoring three tries (14, 32 and 37), all too wide to improve, for a 12-6 half-time lead. Comfortable second half for the York lads, who crossed in the 44th, 51st, 68th, 76th and 79th minutes. All were either under or near the posts and all were converted. Too one-sided an encounter to engage a neutral, although Heworth will be pleased with their performance. Dudley Hill looked very poor. The admission charge - £2.50 - included a 12-page programme. It appeared to be a season-long 'shell' - but lacked a match specific insert. Can't see the point of that. My headcount put the attendance at about 155.
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