Reserve Team Regular
Feb 26, 2011, 7:46 PM
Team(s): (FC) Halifax Town (from 1973), South Liverpool (1983-86)
Post #19 of 313
West Park Leeds 10 Barnsley 32 (HT 5-22)
Attendance: 90 (h/c)
Admission: £2 (including 20pp programme - 12pp shell, 8pp insert)
Another Saturday, another lousy weather forecast. So, in the interests of finding a game likely to be on, oval ball won out over round yet again. There have been big changes at The Sycamores in recent years. West Park Bramhope, who moved here in 1970, have merged with the amateur rump of Leeds RUFC (themselves an amalgamation of Headingley and Roundhay) after the formation of the professional Leeds Carnegie outfit. A reported £5.5m has been spent revamping The Sycamores, which now boasts an impressive two-storey clubhouse, opened in 2008, behind the posts at the north end - and no less than nine (two of them kiddie-sized) pitches. One is 3G, two are railed off and the main pitch is floodlit. Most of the cash came from Leeds Rugby, with income from the sale to a developer of Roundhay's old Chandos Park ground making up the difference. West Park Leeds, owing partly to their community involvement, were named Rugby Club of the Year in the 2010 Club Awards.
What a shame, then, that their first XV is struggling in the relegation zone of lowly Yorkshire Two. Easy to see why, though, on the evidence of this sluggish performance against a Barnsley side lying third, but with no realistic chance of overhauling pacesetters Huddersfield YMCA and Pocklington. The hosts scored a try during an especially turgid opening 10 minutes. That 5-0 lead was as good as it got for Park, who shipped five tries, but did score a second around the three-quarter mark. Not a great game. Far too much whistle from the referee and a good deal of scrappy play on a heavy surface.
The Sycamores is an extremely pleasant set-up. Bramhope, arguably the poshest bit of Leeds, is north of the outer ring road - closer to rural Otley than the city centre. The Main Stand, straddling halfway on the western touchline, is a squat, boxy structure with six rows of red plastic tip-up seats. Opened in 1970, it's thoughtless design makes obstruction-free viewing a real challenge. Best perspective (assuming you don't mind watching end to end) is from the clubhouse's elevated balcony. Concrete hardstanding has been laid round the pitch, and there are a couple of steps of terracing on each side.
West Park Leeds just need a team to match their facilities. This swanky complex is going to look terribly out of place among the flotsam and jetsam of Yorkshire Three!
There's as much pride in this club as there is at Anfield - just fewer people showing it.
If you don't like it, don't ****ing come.
(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Feb 26, 2011, 9:36 PM)