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Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION


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Mike S
Reserve Team Regular

Apr 20, 2019, 9:03 PM

Posts: 595

Post #1751 of 1755 (1115 views)
Re: [AndrewG] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Old Colfeians 18 Matson 19
Intermediate Cup National semi final
Admission £5 including prog
Attendance c700 but would not be surprised if 200 less or 500 more
Working in London Thursday to Sunday but managed to rejig things to get an early finish today and then found few if any fixtures of interest. I had been aware of this for a while, not because I am actually an Old Colfeian as I have not been near the school or seen anyone from there apart from family members for 40 years but through previous results and twitter
Parked after last call in Wembley about 12.30 then tube, train and bus to venue. I had visited but not for competitive RU and knew the venue from years ago. Slightly surprised therefore to find a 120 seat stand and welcome shade and what is otherwise a roped off pitch
Colfeians dominated the first half and should have been more than 18 ahead with better kicking and dominating the scrum. Matson scored in the first minute of second half and dominated from then on. In injury time OC's gained yard and yard and set up a kick when a few inches wide
A close game is always interesting but could not get into this. many stoppages so a post 4.50 finish and no one in the stand had the ability to sit still, getting drinks, going to mates and people just standing in the way. the winners go to Twickenham, possibly for the last time as time as the RFU have overspent and are severely reducing expenditure on the amateur game in all departments and finals days is considered expensive. No cuts for the big boys however

First Team Star

Apr 26, 2019, 1:08 AM

Posts: 1519
Location: Lancashire

Post #1752 of 1755 (866 views)
Re: [Mike S] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 20th April 2019 (ko 1500)
at Jack Davies Memorial Ground, Kenilworth
RFU Intermediate Cup Semi-Final (Level Seven)
Kenilworth 39 South Shields Westoe 34 (ht 13-17)
Admission - £5.00 inc 12 page programme
Attendance - 600 (estimate)

The usual Bank Holiday shutdown of large chunks of our railway network left it surprisingly straightforward for me to reach Kenilworth, albeit I needed to travel via Leamington Spa rather than the more obvious route via Coventry. It was not a day to use Kenilworth’s newly opened railway station, with hordes of Saracens and Munster fans also heading via Leamington Spa for their European semi final at the Ricoh Arena. In any case the railway station would be at least a mile from the ground, whilst the more frequent bus service stops around half a mile away - plenty long enough a walk for me on a day of hot weather. The bus also has the advantage of stopping right outside the GBG listed Green Man.

As has been well documented on here before, Kenilworth have plans to sell both their single pitch main ground, and their secondary facilities that house four pitches a little further along Glasshouse Lane, to move to the south western edge of town and a site that will straddle the aforementioned Leamington Spa to Kenilworth railway line. Those plans are still ongoing, but it seems any move is still at least two or three years away, and we all know of plenty of examples where those timetables usually slip. So the ground is not on the very immediate at danger list, but it might conceivably not stage a game as important as this one again. Kenilworth organised their big day well, with plenty of pre match information online, and issued a fully match specific, glossy, programme, almost advert free and packed with reading and information. Incidentally, they are regular programme issuers, available both as printed copies and online downloads.

The site of the ground slopes gently away from the entrance, so that the clubhouse and changing rooms on the far side are situated below pitch level. The main function room in the clubhouse is hosting a pre match lunch, with a smaller lounge available for regular spectators use. The weather prevents it getting too overcrowded, with large numbers of people heading outside with their drinks. Three hand pumps at the bar, with a choice of Greene King IPA, Purity Gold, and Timothy Taylor Landlord. I saw no sign of hot drinks being available for sale, but then it wasn’t the weather for them, but hot food for the masses was provided from an outdoor barbeque.

Steps lead up from the clubhouse to the pitch, which is fully railed along both sides. The playing surface is a particular disappointment for such a big game, with several significant bare patches that throw up clouds of dust as the game progresses. Quite what has caused this after such a relatively clement winter I am unsure, but it is comfortably the worst pitch I have seen this season. The pitch is equipped with what I assume are training lights, and a manually operated scoreboard is opposite the clubhouse. Unfortunately, this is attached to pitch side railing, so on a day that the size of the crowd means both sides of the pitch are fairly fully lined, it is out of sight to around half of them. No shade to be had anywhere, so I was relieved I had remembered to put my sun hat in my bag for the unusually early blast of summer heat.

The battle for a place at Twickenham pitches Midlands Two West (South) champions Kenilworth against South Shields Westoe, who finished fifth in the arguably stronger in depth Durham and Northumberland One. In any case, the visitors have suffered just one defeat since the turn of the year, so both teams entered the game bang in form. The game lives up to expectations, Kenilworth delighting the majority of the crowd with a six try to four victory, though the outcome remained in the balance right up to the final whistle.

First Team Star

Apr 29, 2019, 10:55 PM

Posts: 1519
Location: Lancashire

Post #1753 of 1755 (669 views)
Re: [AndrewG] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Saturday 27th April 2019 (ko 1500)
at Ramsgreave Drive, Pleckgate
RFU Northern Division Level Six Play Off
Blackburn 17 Scarborough 7 (ht 10-7)
Admission - £5.00 inc 12 page programme
Attendance - 800 (estimate)

With the majority of rugby union’s promotion play off games taking place today, this game appealed rather more than any of the more far flung ones that would have yielded me a new ground. It was also nice to have a local game after quite a few long trips recently, and the ground was one I had only visited once previously, back in 2013. Of course, the weather refused to play ball, particularly at such an exposed setting overlooking open countryside on the very northern fringe of town. There was no escape from either rain or wind, and whilst the former was mostly light and little more than nuisance value, the latter was bitter and bone chilling. The contrast to the heat wave conditions of just seven days previously was quite ridiculous.

The facilities are all located along the southern touchline, where clubhouse and changing rooms are in single storey adjoined buildings atop a banking overlooking the pitch. Just about every table in the clubhouse was taken up by the pre match lunch, so space was always going to be at a premium, especially when the three coach loads of visiting supporters arrived. I got there early and managed to find a seat in the entrance foyer. Real ale choices were both from Bowland Brewery, namely Hen Harrier and Pheasant Plucker. Hot drinks could also be had from the bar, and food in the shape of hot pork sandwiches from a stall just outside the entrance. An outdoor beer tent had also been set up behind the posts, no doubt in the hope of reducing the crush in the clubhouse - I’m sure the idea would have worked well in last week’s weather, but not today.

The area in front of the clubhouse provides a fine viewpoint, railed at the front atop the banking with a couple of steps of terracing behind. There are several areas of overhangs on the clubhouse and changing rooms, but today’s wind direction rendered them useless. There is also elevated viewing from behind the posts at the western end, and flat, railed standing on the far side. The main pitch, one of four in the complex, has two scoreboards - the manually operated one next to the home dug out facing the clubhouse, was updated throughout - the electronic one in one corner was switched on pre match, but appeared to give up the ghost, presumably due to the weather conditions.

In view of the size of the crowd, I grabbed a spot on the railing outside the clubhouse a few minutes before kick off, giving me unobstructed views of the whole pitch, and stayed there throughout. The vast majority of the crowd watched the game from that side of the ground, which made my headcount even more of an estimate than normal, particularly as it was unclear how many were attempting to watch from inside the clubhouse. Like my game last week the twelve page programme was entirely match specific, though this one was much lighter on content, but unlike last week the home club had produced a playing surface fit for the occasion, the pitch here in excellent condition.

The two teams had occupied runners up positions in North One West and North One East respectively with identical playing records, a better points difference earning Blackburn home advantage courtesy of big wins in their last two home games. The wind, blowing the length of the pitch, would shape the course of the game, and Blackburn effectively won the game with two tries scored against the elements in the opening twenty minutes. Scarborough hit back as the interval approached, but Blackburn cancelled that score out early in the second half. After that, the hosts used the wind to keep their opponents penned back, Scarborough struggling to get out of their own half for much of the last quarter of the game.

The step up to level five is a big one - two of last season’s three promoted teams have come straight back down. Defeat may in reality be a blessing in disguise for Scarborough, who were in their first season after stepping up from level seven. Their scrum was absolutely pulverised at times this afternoon, and it is scary to think what teams at the higher level might have done to them. They are clearly a club on the up, though, with outstanding spectator facilities at their home ground, and they reportedly pulled in a four figure crowd for the final home league fixture. This afternoon, though, will stay longest in the memory for the dreadful conditions, and it was about four hours after the game before I felt remotely warm.

(This post was edited by AndrewG on Apr 29, 2019, 11:00 PM)

Chelsea Transfer Target

May 12, 2019, 11:01 PM

Posts: 4468
Location: The Premier League town of Bournemouth
Team(s): AFC Bournemouth, Verwood Town, Sunderland

Post #1754 of 1755 (383 views)
Re: [AndrewG] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Sunday 12th May
Welsh Championship Play-Off 2nd Leg
Felinfoel 20-30 Ystalyfera (HT 12-10)
Ystalyfera win 64-48 on aggregate
Attendance 1,000 est (too many to attempt a headcount!)
Admission by programme £5

Exciting game of rugby which saw the visitors come from 20-10 down to win and book their place in next season's Championship. An early penalty from the visitors meant Felinfoel (pronounced Velinvol) had to score twice and they responded with a try in the corner which they failed to convert. After this Ystalyfera (pronounced Asta La Vista!) had the hosts pinned back inside their own 22 for most of the half but could only manage one converted try for all their domination and just before half time the hosts broke out and found a way through with a great passing move to cross the line and convert to lead the game but still behind on aggregate. That defecit was cut to just one point with a penalty early in the second half and a try soon followed which gave the hosts the lead on aggregate for the first time in this game. Not the most difficult conversion but they failed to add another two points to their lead and the visitors roared back with a converted try and penalty to level the scores on the day and regain the 6 point advantage they started with. Like in the first half the hosts again were struggling to break out of their own 22 for long periods and the visitors killed them off with another converted try and a cheeky drop goal after missing a previous attempt and the 16 point defecit was too much for the hosts to overcome.

A very basic ground shared with the village's cricket and football clubs. No cover or terracing and without the stunning scenery of grounds in the valleys, just two sides railed off with four floodlight pylons on each and temporary steel barriers behind one end with a notice that no alcohol can be consumed during the game, or in the ground according to the PA announcer. This must be the only rugby ground in the country with such a law, struggling to recall ever being at a game without seeing anybody standing pitchside with pint in hand! One of the floodlight pylons is inside the cricket boundary which overlaps the 22 at the near end so it must be removable. The football pitch is alongside the rugby pitch in front of the large changing room building. Felinfoel AFC play in Division 2 of the Carmarthenshire League, don't know if they were on one the hops but they still have two games to play this season, both at home to teams with title and promotion to play for.

Possibly my last rugby union match of the season, have been to Glamorgan Wanderers who host Brecon in the 2nd leg of the other Play-Off next Saturday but am tempted by Bridgend Sports v Pyle, a title decider in Division 3 West Central B, but it has competition from a couple of football matches.

First Team Star

May 17, 2019, 11:14 PM

Posts: 1686

Post #1755 of 1755 (166 views)
Re: [cherryhopper] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


@ Aberavon

An excellent game which showed the yawning gap between the Premiership and Championship in Welsh rugby. Superbly refereed by Nigel Owens.

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