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Everything posted by groundhopper

  1. Rugeley 36 Sherwood Wolf Hound Academy !! 54 Second time, I have seen Rugeley this season , initially they played at the Leisure centre whilst the RU ground was being reseeded. Ninety points in total today and over 100 previously do not indicate a good game just poor defence. This was a match in the Midlands Merit table and that may be the best way forward at this level. Rugeley have played at least three matches this year which is more than anyone in the Midlands League so far. The benefit is that is teams don’t travel to you, you don’t play them again. There is however the difficulty of finding fixtures. Being new to the game, they are solely improving but until they do, wins will be hard to come by. Staring poorly, they did win the second half. Sherwood are one of the successes of local RL, having already played in the Challenge Cup and taking the step up to Yorkshire League and now running a second team, this was referred to as their academy but was an adult team. Rugeley is not an attractive town and whilst very basic for an RU club, the pitch had a surprising attractive setting with trees on both sides, one adjacent to a canal and behind the posts the chancel of the parish church at the top of a grass bank.
  2. Cynon Valley Cougars 18 Rhondda Outlaws 64 I think this is the first season and first match for Cynon Valley at open age but they have a thriving juniors section as does numerous parts of South Wales. I have counted 14 open age sides in Wales this season which may be a record even if North Wales clubs only play 4 to 6 games. The total clubs may now equal or exceed the number in the former Cumberland. Todays visitors were last years champions and this showed one of the problem for expansion areas. Rhondda could play at a higher level but there is no league whilst Cynon Valley had players new to the games. Early on, one home player was tackled and went to the ground releasing it RU style whilst another beat two players for pre and then kicked past a third on the first tackle. The Cynon Valley players played well in places but inexperience showed. Venue today was Hirwaun Miners ground at the head of the valley, downstream is Mountain Ash where South Wales played semi pro for a year. Just a railed off pitch but on a nice sunny day, attractive with a view of high hills in most directions. There does still seem an appetite for the game in the valleys but the issue is it may be too spread for a semi pro side.
  3. After the earlier question which RL side play in the grounds of an art gallery, this one is which one shares a car park with a castle. A further question that may help is who overlook an estuary with the opposite bank being in another country, at least in UK terms. The question is made harder by the fact that I had never heard of the hosts until three weeks ago and who were playing their first game at least under their present name Clwyd Cobras. Although a short season with clubs only playing 4 to 6 matches depending on success in the play offs, 5 clubs is the most I think North Wales has had at this level. Crusaders deserve some of the credit with Cobras using their kit even with the badge etc but I don’t know the extent of their involvement. A good start too, as visitors Flintshire Falcons were last years champions. The final score was 56 30 to Cobras. The standard, especially in attack play was as high if not higher than some more established leagues although was clear inexperience inevitably as well. As indicated at the top, a nice setting between Flint Castle and the football ground. The pitch is used by Flint RU, the changing rooms and bar are marked as belonging to the football club although they change inside an enclosed ground. Enjoyed the trip as did my 4 year old and nice to travel by train, especially as everything ran smoothly. In case anyone interested the five clubs are based subject to confirmation at Flint, Mold, Bethesda and Llandudno plus Rhosllanerchrug, south of Wrexham. The places are of character and 2 are coastal and a third has views into Snowdonia so I recommend to anyone, they should try one. The next round of matches includes Flintshire away at Conwy. This can be checked on Facebook but I understand at Llandudno.
  4. Birmingham 38 Coventry 34 The original plan was Worcester v Telford but this was posted as off on Friday on the visitors Twitter. Although I prefer a ground I had not visited before, the above was an attractive and local for me, fixture. I had been to Avery Fields before, home to Bournville RU before when Birmingham previously spent a season at the venue. The other plus is that I knew it had a balcony, useful with the forecast. The ground has a 4G pitch with a white rail, identical to other clubs provided with the facilities by the RFU The two clubs had played in the Midlands final last year with Birmingham winning after Coventry had win both league meeting. Birmingham scored two early tries and were 22 up at half time. Coventry fought back strongly in the second half and on the 80 minute mark took the lead and then scored again 2 mins later. That made the score 26 34. There was then a surprising amount of additional time, 14 mins in total. The hosts got back to 32 24 and I was surprised they did not take a kick to draw level, instead kicking for touch. The players obviously knew better as they then scored beneath the posts with the conversion being the last kick of the game. Thoroughly enjoyable and spoke to the parents of two players at uni, one of whom only wanted to play RL. There had been some comments reported on here pre game about an admission charge of £6 and about Midland Hurricanes having moved into Bulldogs area. No signs of any problems on the day between two good c.ubs who have a rivalry for over 20 years. Should they charge this level. My own view is it is their choice but compared with other sports £6 is cheap for the entertainment. A programme was available for £2 in addition. To be honest paying £2.40 for a small mars bar and a 330ml bottle of water at the bar was a bigger rip off.
  5. Twitter feed indicates prog at Birmingham tomorrow The impression is a physical prog.
  6. April 22 @ Rugeley My home county has always been limited in terms of RL clubs. An attempt at Stoke last year may not have resulted in a game being played and before that only Burntwood for a couple of seasons and Wolverhampton playing just over the border have had teams playing in the county. I was therefore pleased to see Rugeley join the merit league for this season. It may not have been a good idea to play the first game against Telford who are always strong. Apparently the club is partly a legacy of miners moving from St Helens a long time ago. it was clear early on there was a big difference. Rugeley’s first three touches were a dropped catch and two kick offs from tries being scored, nil 16 after maybe 5 mins. I thought the hosts tried hard and made some good moves and I think the 4 tries scored is more important than the probable 15 conceded. The final score was given as 20 82 although I had more for the visitors. Rugeley at least for this game were not a combination of players from local clubs but basically their RU team. I was told the new tackle rule in RU was a factor but even if they wanted to switch, we have nothing to offer. The match was played at the local leisure centre on a poor quality pitch as the RU ground is being reseeded but they hope to be at the other venue before the season end, which will give me a chance to gauge their progress. What was good to see was over a 100:turn up to watch Hopefully another club in the small acorns category
  7. hmm poor internet but will continue The building is Sudley House built in 1820 and belonging to Liverpool Museums. A rugby pitch has been laid out and yesterday was the first game on for the Lizards who have moved less than one mile. The grounds are otherwise a public park with the single pitch being shared with Mossley Park RU. I was told the clubs have a good rapport and share some players which was interesting yesterday with the RL at 1.30 and the RU straight after. I have nothing but praise for anyone who plays RL for 80mins but to play the other code straight afterwards is really something. At least they get long rest patches during the second game for those periods when nothing happens. I think three maybe 4 played in both but I left after the RL. The changing rooms are 300 yards away across the road as part of a multi sports club with football and tennis as at least. Lizard are not pretending to be building a super league club in Liverpool but are just a group of people who enjoy playing the game. Their twitter account encouraged anyone interested to come and watch and apart from those with the visitors no more than about 5 did do. On the field was a disaster for the Lizards. they had a small squad and suffered injuries with people paying out of position. It may not have mattered too much is the opposition were not Bank Quay who are far too good for this division. I made the score 6 to 78 but the ref who I am sure is right had it at 84. Really friendly people and hopefully a few wins will come their way this year
  8. I doubt many could answer the question ‘ which RL side play in the grounds of an art gallery.’ The answer is Liverpool Lizards
  9. Guiseley 22 Rycroft 24 This one was described as a friendly but was anything but. I don’t keep records of such things but in terms of penalties, punches and brawls, this had as many as any game I can remember. No obvious reason as the teams are not local, nor have any type of history with both having been in abeyance. Maybe some of the players were playing for the first time in a while and were fired up. Two red cards and probably should have been more. I don’t think I should admit but really enjoyed the biff. Guiseley we’re playing their fire match at open age for about ten years but had kept some youth teams going and I could be wrong but think they may only be playing ‘ friendlies , this year. They were not on the merit table list I saw. The pitch is part of a large park, with directions being accurate in stating opposite McDonalds. The car park is much harder to find. There is a dressing room block and separate tea bar and the pitch was roped down one side. The match was close with Guiseley two points behind intercepting the ball 3 mins from the end and the player ran 70 yard before being caught. The game could have gone either way as both sides hit the crossbar without scoring from conversions. Attendance was c70
  10. It’s a good job I don’t chase likes. After being given a few, I mentioned going to RU. I should have just made something up such as I put a cat in a wheelie bin, it would have been more popular. Anyway just the greatest game today and Orrell SJ 12 Midland Hurricanes 19. I have been to Bankes Avenue before when OSJ put about 90 points on Chorley but much more even today. The hosts shaded the first half and Hurricanes made the same mistake twice for a 12 4 score line. I thought OSJ tackled very well. There had been some niggle in the first half but as Hurricanes fought back, there were a number of brawls and high tackles. The referee took no nonsense and 2 from Hurricanes and one OSJ were shown red cards and with 3 yellows were very briefly at 10 a side. OSJ handled every aspect of the day well including a crowd of 400 plus. The club would be an asset to the NCL with a railed off pitch, nice clubhouse and a small bit of cover attached. This was totally inadequate for the crowd and there was a choice between a restricted view or getting wet. I think they have won the North West League two years running and look a club on the up. Anyone in Wigan should give them a visit, but a dry day is suggested. I have loved the challenge cup this year and whilst the format later on is not to everyone’s liking the choice of ties in this round was brilliant.
  11. Huddersfield A 66 Wakefield A 4 First time I had attended a reserve game at this level. With no team sheet available, hard to know the strength of each side but more youngsters with the visitors, who to be honest need to taught tacking and positioning. This was not (hopefully) players looking to step up a level. Match played at Laund Hill, once Huddersfield YMCA. A bit run down but superior to anything in the RL amateurs, three pitches and I think a 4G one under construction, a 400 seat stand and bus stop type cover opposite plus a clubhouse of character and facilities open most of the time for other usage. Attendance c200, not just family of players but many in club colours. Kick off was 10.30 so another early start for my fix. Met someone who worked with a player and picked them up. Afterwards they wanted RU so instead of Fartown for Lindsey and St Joseph’s ended up at Pontefract. I can’t stand 6 nations or premiership, but at this level the aim is to score tries, not win penalties and if you can accept how slow the game is, then watchable
  12. British Police 18 Westgate 22 Close fought Challenge Cup Tie. In the first half the Police looked the fitter but not necessarily the more skilled. I think half time it was 12 4. Westgate turned it around in the second half and looked the more motivated as well as the better Kicking made the final score closer than it should have been, with the Police scoring three from four and Westgate 1 from 5 Crowd counted by someone else at 230 with over half from Wakefield with almost no 'home' support' The venue was Portico Vine and what a great club they are. They dropped out of open age due to lack of numbers and that is usually the end of the club. Here they have kept with youth and built a new clubhouse , only recently opened. They have then come to an agreement with the Police to be their base. Nice bar and a range of food available. The facilities had been open all day with various age group side playing in the morning. Apparently first ever Challenge Cup time at the ground The facilities include three pitches with the main one taped off today. Parking was mostly on grass but within the grounds . They even marked off the bays individually using white in the field and made some money by charging £2. There was no other admission charge but the parking and the Westgate fans would have made this is a lucrative day. Portico hope to play a few merit table games at open age this season but I was told reliable opposition can be hard to find. I would love to see them back in NW Mens league when ready This is the best part of the Challenge Cup and draw is Monday for the next round. I really recommend a fixture to anyone.
  13. Hi Welsh Magpie I think I was standing next to you at the match. If so, thanks, it was nice to discuss a game with someone with a great knowledge and tactical nous, rather than someone who has strong opinions but neither of the above, It added to the enjoyment of the afternoon. Personally I found the attendance pleasing, especially if close to 500. A sound start for Hurricanes and the dual reg from Castleford was part of the difference between the sides but others played very well. Possibly fitness issues for a few with the visitors but this was the first game. Off the field Hurricanes made the best of what they had. It was nice to look inside the main stadium and as the toilets are there, access is easy and there was a steady stream of photographers. The pitch looked worryingly small however. As to the present stadium, it was designed as a training track and I think spectators were not allowed in, hence the lack of facilities. There are two concerns, firstly in terms of getting a good view, yesterday was at capacity. Secondly the promised bleachers were not there and everything is at track level. Anyone in the marquees or requiring a seat would not see anything and if wet, there is no cover with a view. The ground is way short of RFL requirements but again this can hopefully be improved. It should be said as always, everything was well organised.
  14. So I got off to a good start, got both teams wrong and no one is sure of the score. Will try and do better in two weeks time.
  15. This is a continuation of a post last year in the Community Game section. The main purpose is to encourage others to watch RL at a lower level than they do now. The community game and NCL must be the greatest bargain in sport. Anything can be posted outside of super league but ideally it is a league, club or level you have not watched before. So a Wigan fan can post about Ince Rose Bridge or Swindon but not Warrington To start things off West Warriors v Bedford. Challenge Cup Rd 1. A crowd of about 80 watched this at Kings House School Grounds which was once the Civil Service Sports Club and whose RU team CS 1863 were at home on the mai pitch with less spectators. There was no charge for either game. The ground is on the banks of the Thames in Chiswick. Wests opened the scoring and dominates early on, with the result never really in doubt. The BBC a has the result as 32 12 but I also saw 34 reported and I actually had a higher score. The Challenge Cup used to have clear rules on grounds, they had to be railed, and capable of allowing a gate to be taken. The pitch used was however not railed and for those interested no programme was issued. a number of those in attendance then walked 10 minutes to Chiswick RU to see Hammersmith v Dublin, the type of fixture that makes this tournament so much more interesting in the early rounds than later. The next round has some interesting ties with the RAF at home which could be in the wilds of Lincolnshire and it will be interesting if Hull Dockers can stage their match with Midland H on what is an attractive but not enclosed ground. Hopefully others will post and will have better knowledge of the players than I did as a neutral.
  16. So facilities will be marquees next to the pitch. As a positive person I believe in saying nothing unless you have something positive to say so……..
  17. To be announced tomorrow according to website The suggestion was the Alexander stadium or at least the adjacent training ground, but delays suggest it may be elsewhere. Hopefully not a renewal at Birmingham and Solihull RU. This is the key year for hurricanes, the plus is the squad looks the strongest they have had, albeit moving to the heartlands model, rather than local players. it is clearly difficult on a budget and with a small off field presence but hopefully as this is in effect a new start, some marketing will take place along with and after the same issue although the same issues apply as at Broncos in identifying how to make a presence in a large area. Cornwall can get close to a thousand and this needs to be the aim for the first game, along with home wins early on. I just hope it is not the same few regulars from last year as there are not enough. Before anyone points it out I accept I am suggesting what they should do, without actually offering to do anything myself, I accept this 100%
  18. I think this can be turned into a positive, the grassroots in Wales has some good clubs and excellent people and there are so many good things at youth level, increased numbers being just one. I doubt people played at West Wales for the money so there is a pool of players with the opportunity to play in a Welsh League which has never been strong in the West. If the lease on the clubhouse continues, they have the basis to establish things. Rhondda have their own ground and others are playing out of venues where they seem welcome. It could be a good season for the league. In case those who think that we should pull up the drawbridge on anywhere outside the heartlands and save pennies, I think apart from WWR, nothing is funded by the RFL although I may get corrected. We should also note in the ladies game, Cardiff have aspirations for Super League, this being done from slow gradual growth. The RFL pot is small but very little would be needed to reassure those involved in Wales they are welcome and encouraged.
  19. Managed to get to this although the 5.15 alarm was not ideal. An unusual place for an international, but I assume the fact that Emirates could be reached in an hour 15 by public transport and it was available was the main factor. Although for the Nordik Cup, I assume the two teams found they were coming to the UK and this was then a good idea. Strength wise maybe Southern Conference with some much better players and a lack of experience, competitive games would help considerably. No publicity and short notice kept crowd down to 50 or 60. I would guess 10 at most heading for Arsenal afterwards. Apart from two I sent details of the game to, no one else on first train of Hainault. This is my level and RL and always a close score helps. Absolutely loved it and would be up at 515 for similar next week There was no gate taken and unsurprisingly no programme or memorabilia Poland started well and threatened big scope but Norway fought back
  20. Just in case anyone is going and I intend to as long as my 6.20 train runs, the venue is Ilford Wanderers RU not Ilford FC ground 5 mins for Hainault on the central line. You could park nearby and tube it to Stratford and then to Highbury and Islington and probably avoid a parking charge
  21. First post for a month and 9 days after the event but here goes Kirkburton 44 Garforth 19 Kirkburton are another team who have moved this season and are now nearer to the village but not in it. For anyone who knows non league football a team called Shelley reached level 10 playing at what was Storthes Hall hospital and now university accommodation. The grounds had a number of sports pitches with the main one having two small stands and a clubhouse. Across the car park is a further pitch, used this year by Kirkburton. Pleasant enough and adequate enough but no facilities pitch side. Not impressed by the visitors. They were struggling for numbers right up to kick off but did eventually get up to 16. That can happen to any side but the moaning from the side was awful. Not just at the ref but sledging of the opposition. Game itself was enjoyable enough and the antics of the away side made me less of a neutral than normal.
  22. Aberavon Fighting Irish 34 Rhondda Outlaws 30 It looks like I saved the best of the season until ( almost?) last. Although like everywhere they have had cancellations, the standard is higher than in the community game elsewhere, probably on a par with the Southern conference in the East. Excellent passing and at times defence and some good running played in a good spirit. Rhondda went into the game with 8 wins from 9 and were 6 up in ten mins and had had two attempts held up over the line, an away win looked inevitable. Early in the second half they were at least three scores behind. Two late scores made the final score look close. Speaking to a home fan of FIghting Irish and the hosts, Aberavon Harlequins he suggested there was a play off to come. However 6 players also play for Quins who have there first friendly next Saturday. Possibly a Sunday game or possibly the season is finished, less than two months after it started. Part of the fun of visiting clubs for the first time is looking at the ground and today we had a club house behind the posts and a fully enclosed ground surrounded by houses and a stand for 200 or so on the halfway line and fully railed off. I know Fighting Irish have a posted of that name on here. The decision to go was made late as I was also considering the first qualifying round of the Welsh Cup in football. RL won, as it should but apologised for not making contact but must reiterate as always in Wales a lovely club.
  23. Coventry Bears 42 Leamington Royals 14 I have probably watched Bears more than any other team and loved what they were doing, trying to organise other clubs in the area, taking the game into schools etc. yet whilst using local players, being able to compete with the semi pro heartlands sides. The development was slow and organic and I had my first season ticket in any sport for 35 years. Hurricanes are taking a different path and although I have seen them four times, they do not feel like the same club, so back to basics today, for what is now the only open age Bears team and playing against rivals from the early days. The two clubs are less than ten miles apart and this was the third meeting this season. Going into the game Bears were top and Leamington bottom with one win. The first half did not therefore go to plan for hosts who found themselves 14 down after 30 mins and 14 6 at half time. Injuries and fitness made the second half the opposite and late tries flattered the home side. The game was played at the Xcel centre, used by the Bears many times before but possibly not for the first team. This is a proper community facility, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor courts plus one of two football pitches in use for what I was told were two Somali teams. Cricket was also taking place. I remember visiting the new Colchester United football ground called the community stadium and there was no community around and no other usage. This one is something every town would benefit from and one of the best I have seen. The RL pitch was furthest from the changing rooms and without facilities apart from a rope. About 40 to 50 watching. I am not sure what happens now for the Bears. I don’t think they are part of the Hurricanes umbrella who look more like a stand alone team. Southern Conference is an option but outside London this has been poor recently. Possibly following Nottingham, Derby and Sherwood into Yorkshire
  24. Haresfinch v Ulveston Postponement season comes earlier every year, usually you can find a match easily until early August but an initial plan during the week for Stoke Staffies could not be confirmed as no contact numbers or update internet and nothing on usually reliable visitors website. Kirkburton was cancelled midweek and did not fancy the heat of South Wales where Cardiff cancelled early morning at Aberavon and was nable to confirm Black Dragons on or off. Ulveston confirmed squad for Haresfinch yesterday and back up fixtures and a phone at the ground made this easy to confirm. The effort was rewarded by a decent game and another excellent set up. On entering there is a car park and then a clubhouse and changing rooms with plans on the wall for significant improvements. The pitch was railed off and just enough shade for sun avoiders like myself. The visitors arrived early and scored early but the first half was dominated by Haresfinch. The second half was more equal. Full time 36 26 or similar. I don’t comment on refs as could not do the job myself and nothing notably wrong in any way apart from the fact he blew his whistle after every kick, irrespective of whether kicked hence may be out. Attendance about 150 by the end and a club I could easily support if local
  25. Sheffield Forgers 12 Sheffield Hawks 64 With 5 Saturdays in the month and a trip to London with one of the daughters, long distances trips are not ideal this month. The plan was to see what remained of Coventry Bears who play in the Midland division but the visitors cried off Forgers have however moved from a school field to Mosborough Welfare. This is a proper ground, as is usually the case with former miners grounds. A modern clubhouse with entertainment two nights a week suggests a flourishing traditional venue. The sports fields are adjacent, rugby of both codes on the lower pitch, football parallel at the top of a bank. The teams have already met this season at this venue as Hawks ground is for some reason unavailable. That was a comprehensive win for Hawks. The margin was greater today and mostly one way traffic. i am terrible at recognising players but even I noticed Menzie Yare scoring a number of tries on the wing, plus one with the last move of the game straight down the middle where his pace was enough for today but not what I remember.
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