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Went to Coventry Bears vs Oxford Cavaliers. Was a big win for the Bears but a really good good contest. 

There's a lot to be said for rugby at this level. Lots of new guys to the game mixed with some experienced players. Makes for some really entertaining games.

There is some real talent in the Bears line up which really bodes well for the future. 

Edited by OriginalMrC
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This is by far my favourite thread on this forum. I check in every couple of weeks all through the summer and get a warm content feeling. Keep up the great posts everyone. 

Edited by thebrewxi
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Westgate Common 56 Brighouse Rangers 26
Yorkshire Premier
H.T 16-16


After what had been a tight first half the second half started in the same way. Both sides exchanged tries with the home side's being converted. After that Westgate ran riot and in no time it was game over. Westgate are near the top of the top division and showed why against a decent side themselves in Rangers.

Westgate have moved this season to the Gaskell Sports Pavilion, which is the City of Wakefield golf club by any other name. The rugby pitch is directly in front of the pavilion itself with two football pitches being more distant. Some disused cricket nets, all overgrown, makes it look like rugby has taken over from cricket as the summer sport here.

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Great day out at Walney Central where they were opening a new beer garden facility at the clubhouse and drew in a big party crowd for the game against neighbours Hindpool Tigers. Cents won 28-14.

It was a Second Division match in the NWML - a far cry from the club's days in the National Conference and then the short-lived Cumbria  League but signs were there that they are coming out of a slow  decline and there were plenty of fresh faces in both teams.

With Barrow Island and Millom still in the NCL, the Furness area has six teams - Walney, Hindpool, Dalton, Ulverston, Roose and Askam - in the NWML and the Barrow and District League and only last week they provided 11 of the 17 players in Barrow Raiders 44-4 win over Widnes.

 

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Sherburn Bears 24 Methley Warriors 22
Yorkshire Div. 7A
H/T 6-16


Eight tries were evenly shared between these two evenly matched sides. It was noticeable that three tries for each side were scored at the downward sloping side of the pitch, which slopes diagonally from one corner to the other. A game that was played in good spirit, the only difference being a missed conversion. The game was also excellently refereed. The standard was good despite it being the lowest division this side of the Pennines.

Bears play at Eversley Park in Sherburn-in-Elmet. A large, very pleasant park shared with cricket, although no game in evidence today. A large community centre was well populated with some very posh looking ladies emerging with various flower arrangements.

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Oxford Cavaliers 30 Birmingham 18

There is a fair amount of history here by Southern RL standard with Birmingham playing since 1989 and Oxford Cavaliers since 1996.

Just before Covid, Cavaliers decided to move away from sharing RU or uni facilities and made what seemed to be a great decision and take over a barely used village facility where they would be welcomed into somewhere that would otherwise have closed. St Albans were first to do this followed by Cavaliers, Bath and Bedford.

A lack of opportunities to play and train ruined this model and Oxford are now playing outside the county at Brackley RU. This is the type of facility amateur clubs should aspire to. Although clearly not possible If there are only four or five home games. There are two pitches, two storey clubhouse with an overhang. The RU club play at the lowest level of the sport so hardly flushed with money.

As for Oxford, they are going through a rebuilding phase but have produced a decent ladies team and are trying to rebuild as a club. However at open age level they are struggling and most players appear to be attached to the RU side and they only had 14 including the coach who was not intending to play but was forced on frequently. Apart from a physio there was no one else pitch side to do the kicking tee, water etc. 
 

Birmingham had 15 and win the early stages but the home side fought back well and eventually won 30 18 scoring all the later points.

 

 

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Went along to watch York Acorn vs Wath Brow Hornets yesterday. Usual £2 admission including programme. Quite a small crowd, maybe 100-120 with a good following from West Cumbria. Acorn had only won once prior to this, and were pretty depleted by injury, and with Wath Brow third place in the league I was expecting a fairly easy win for the visitors. However, judging by the age of some of the Hornets players, I assume they were also missing a few.

Acorn started with a short kick off into the wind, recovered the ball and scored from the ensuing set and got another try a few minutes later to take a 10-0 lead. Left centre George Hunt was involved in both and really the standout player on the pitch IMO. Interesting tactical battle of the kind you don't often see in the pro game. Acorn very much preferring to attack on the left and only rarely did the ball go to their right hand three-quarters. Their defence often seemed to leave a lot of space on the wings, and a couple of long distance tries for Hornets when they had someone simply run round the edge of the defensive line. Both teams kept the referee busy with a lot of set restarts and lot of errors.

Acorn had a 20-18 lead with about 15 minutes to go, and Hornets would probably have won if an attempted interception had stuck, but it was knocked on. The home team scored in the corner and a difficult conversion was put over to make the final score of 26-18, which also moves Acorn off bottom spot in the NCL Premier league table.

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On 11/06/2022 at 17:07, groundhopper said:

Saltash Essayons 38 Teignbridge Trojans 28

Not since Hill Hoists appeared in Hammersmith has a moniker being meaningless to me without looking it up, but Essayon is French for let us try. It is a military expression and is more let us try where others have failed and succeed. 
 

Saltash is across the Tamar from Plymouth and the team may well have military connections.

The people involved in South West RL deserve medals for keeping going and hopefully the new Cornwall team will give a boost to playing numbers with only four teams in the league this year, three in Devon and Saltash.

Not just distance and cost have kept me away from visits but more the fact that matches have needed to be  9 or 11 a side to avoid being cancelled

No such problem today with 16 v 15 although injuries made it hard and some played longer than they would have preferred.

Venue was Saltash RU, no more than a recreation ground with wooden changing room s and bar on one side. 
 

This was the first game of the season and for several players the first game of RL hence some kicking on the second or third tackle. There were some good players mixed in and a lot of enthusiasm with plenty of good and tough tackles

Score was 38 26 in my mind but 38 28 on scoreboard. With scores level on one version late on, thankfully late tries means this did not matter

 

Queens used to use the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry motto, Cede Nullis (Yield to none)

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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I was at a regimental reunion at 204 Scottish Battery, Kingston Park, Newcastle, every year I normally take in a game in the Newcastle area, however this year all the Newcastle teams had away games so it cost me a fortune going shopping with the Mrs.

My own team took another battering 68 v 10 away at Kippax & Swillington Miners, that is now 6 games without a win and the injuries keep mounting.

Drastic times call for drastic measures, my first job when arriving back was to attend a meeting that overwhelmingly voted to part company with the coach and appoint a new one.

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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Saturday 25th June
Sheffield Hawks 58 Sheffield Forgers 12
Yorkshire Div 7A
H/T 36-0


Even though this was officially Hawks' home game, this was played at Mosborough MW, Forgers' home venue. It was in fact the first time Hawks have played all season, I think that's down to venue availability. With that in mind I expected a closer game, I was wrong. The difference in class was massive. Six first half tries were unanswered before Forgers did manage to score at 42-0. Hawks only managed four more in the second half. Mosborough MW is the home of Mosborough RU in the winter months but was best avoided today as a brats party was in full swing in the bar area.

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On 25/06/2022 at 19:03, SYhopper said:

Saturday 25th June
Sheffield Hawks 58 Sheffield Forgers 12
Yorkshire Div 7A
H/T 36-0


Even though this was officially Hawks' home game, this was played at Mosborough MW, Forgers' home venue. It was in fact the first time Hawks have played all season, I think that's down to venue availability. With that in mind I expected a closer game, I was wrong. The difference in class was massive. Six first half tries were unanswered before Forgers did manage to score at 42-0. Hawks only managed four more in the second half. Mosborough MW is the home of Mosborough RU in the winter months but was best avoided today as a brats party was in full swing in the bar area.

From champions of div 5 to div 7A, I wonder what happened to the 4 players they signed from the pro game in the week leading to to play us last season.

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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Cheltenham Phoenix 4 All Golds 54

A friendly fixture between two clubs who have found their original fixture list reduced by cancellations. The history of the clubs in Gloucester and Cheltenham are complicated and interwoven but at present their is no connection. 
 

Cheltenham have always played in the West of England League which lost Reading pre season and then Oxford to the midlands and Swindon A due to struggling for numbers. A three team league was planned but Phoenix had the foresight to arrange additional friendlies, which just as well when the two  remaining sides struggled for numbers including a Gloucester based team. All Golds who are a spin off from the league one side that folded are now Bristol based.

The match was played at Cheltenham Tigers RU, out of the town beyond the racecourse, a venue I had previous seen soccer on when it belonged to a local company. Smiths Industries. The match was played on the main railed off pitch with a 4G surface, one of those paid for by the RFU.

I was impressed with both sides off filed with a full compliment of subs and when there was an injury, people who knew what they were doing.

The two clubs had different expectations at the beginning of the season and are at different levels. The scoreline was not therefore surprising but Phoenix played and tackled very well but All Golds were excellent for a southern based team. It is unclear what Phoenix should do for new year, the Southern Conference may be a step too, although it needs teams but a handful of friendliest is not enough for what is a very well organised club.

Off to Ebbsfleet tomorrow for Broncos, as with the amateurs anything could happen off the field and hopefully a reasonable crowd especially as they are now playing two games there

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Went up to a windy Lowca to watch the Cumbria Cup Final between Distington & Wath Brow A

A very young Brow team started off strongly and it needed some great defence from a much bigger & experienced Distington team to keep them out in the first 15 mins.

After the early Wath Brow pressure the bigger Distington pack started to make big inroads and the first try soon followed.

Two further converted tries saw a lopsided score line of 18-0 to Distington which was harsh on Wath Brow.

A strong start to the second half by Wath Brow failed to bring a much needed score & Distington went down the other end to seal the match at 24-0.

Wath Brow toiled away for the next 20 mins without reward and a combination of injuries resulting in a 1 man bench,fatigue and a powerful Distington display saw the score blow out to 36-0 in the last 10 mins.

A well deserved cup final win for Distington & a plucky effort from the young Wath Brow A which should see several moving up to first team over the next few years.

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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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Got to say,what a pleasure it was to have a very brief conversation with a true rugby league guy.  Kenny from Eccles rugby club.  His enthusiasm and support for his club is second to none. He turned up to watch Ince Rose  bridge against Skirlaugh and as always he was as enthusiastic as everyone.  Nice to see you mate thanks for your support hope to see you soon.

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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

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Back down under

Easts tigers 22 South logan magpies 18

Queensland Cup round 15

 

Bottom team Magpies on an eight game losing streak ( and lost 72-0 last week) took an early lead and led throughout the game…until the 76 minute when the tigers kept their play off hopes alive with a length of the field try to win the game. Easts are on of Melbourne’s farm teams while Souths are part of the Broncos empire. With both NRL teams standing down their origin players for the weekend games the farm teams had been raided so not too much experience on show. Magpies had Tristan Sailor at fullback while easts had Jadon Nikorima at half back. It was an entertaining game played in good spirit on a sunny winters day.

Easts have been re branded as Brisbane Tigers, (all associated with their attempt to get the 17th NRL franchise, which failed) but everybody refers to them as Easts still. A historic club like the tigers should be protected from the whims of marketing agencies. Its like rebranding St Helens as Liverpool Saints.

Easts play at historic Langlands Park ( now totally workwear stadium - i held my nose typing that) in the brisbane suburb of Coorparoo a 15 minute bus ride from downtown Brisbane. The stadium is under renovation and Easts played the first half of the season using different locations for home games. I think they received substantial grant funding associated with making it a training hub for the NRLW or something similar. Also will provide training facilities for footy events hosted by Brisbane. The main stand which had cover and good sightlines, has been demolished with six rows of bucket seats constructed on the opposite side, facing the sun and with no cover! I suppose its progress. I look forward to the finished article.

Guessing around 250 folks watched the main game once the players and families from the earlier colts game left. Meanwhile down the road at lang park, 40,000 watched leeds united play aston villa in a friendly. There is no accounting for taste!

Next weekend the Q league goes on the road with each game played in a regional or rural location. Easts play Hunters at Cunnamulla, 750kms west of Brisbane while Souths play Northern Pride on Thursday Island, North of the tip of Cape York peninsula and closer to Papua than to Cairns, the home of northern pride. Other games are being played at Ayr, Monto, Springsure, Roma and Sarina.

Burleigh Bears remain 5 points clear at the top of the Q league with the next 9 places covered by 6 points.

 

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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

 

 

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Back down under made the trip to Southport Tigers v Burleigh Bears, 1 v 2 in the Gold Coast league. A wasted journey as I arrived at an empty ground …All games in the Gold Coast league were cancelled without a reason being given…and it certainly wasn’t weather related. I await further details.

Its a very nice ground at Owen Field Southport with probably the best main stand of all teams in the league and a nice looking leagues club (sadly closed so I couldnt drown my sorrows☹️)

I made the quick diversion to Southport sharks v essendon in the Victorian Football League (Aussie Rules)…and yes I do mean the Victorian league even though its over 1700 kms between Southport and Melbourne….no one should complain about trips to cornwall!

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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. 

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Back down under…….. Wets Panthers 32 Bulimba Bulldogs 22 round 16 of the Brisbane league at Frank Lind Oval.

 

It was 1 v 2 with Bulimba needing to win to have a chance of catching the 15-0 Panthers. Wests scored straight from kick off after Bulldogs played mis played the kick off. Panthers always ahead from that point but Bulldogs kept coming back at them in what was a well played and clean game in front of probably 200 speccies. The win secured top spot for Panthers with two games left before play offs.

Frank Lind oval is in Michelton a Brisbane suburb about 20 minutes bus ride from city centre and Michelton railway station is just a 10 minute walk.There is no oval, its an open enclosure with a clubhouse that consists of changing rooms on the ground floor and a bar on the top floor. There is also a covered (licensed) patio next to the clubhouse. There was no admission charge. 

Wests Panthers have a long history and were top dogs in Brisbane in the early 1990s when they played at Purtell Park. They play in red and black stripes (“ Mud and Bloods” as they were known). Former players include kangaroos Barry Muir, Paul Vautin, John Ribot and Greg Oliphant.

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