Always anticipate the unexpected.
This being a familiar statement when I was on a driving course way back in the mid sixties and one could also equate this with Saturday’s rugby at Priory Park. The appalling monsoon weather caused many postponements around the North West (including Macc Town FC) and lowly Redruth Rugby Club, who were widely expected to leave Cheshire with little in the form of league points. Well it all conspired to a lottery of a game, which I hope has not done too much damage to the playing surface with so many games still to get in before the season ends and it compared with the pitch we played on when Esher visited in a cup game way back in 2005. Oh,the joys of being a groundsman!
Credit to both sets of players for making an engrossing spectacle but one hopes for somewhat better conditions this weekend when the Blues make the trip up the A1 to Blaydon and Crow Trees for our next encounter. Note that kick off time there is 2.15.pm and NOT the usual 3.pm. All the games played on Saturday were the result of postponements pre-Xmas and they saw Barking retain top spot with a 27-16 home win over Launceston. London Scottish are now right on their heels courtesy of another bonus point win at Blaydon (40-3) and whilst Cambridge did not play, Saturday saw Cinderford beat Tynedale (32-5) Rosslyn Park win at Coventry (34-27) Sedgley Park beat Stourbridge 19-14 and Blackheath won at Wharfedale 21-14.
There was no game for our seconds but this weekend, they entertain Stockport in what should be a very close local encounter in the Raging Bull Cup Round 2. Should they reach the quarter final and semi stage, the games will be played mid week due to the large number of games still to be played thanks to the winter weather. For this reason, the cups at Trophy, Shield & Plate levels have been abandoned for this season so just the one to play for and as holders the Lions will be seeking revenge on Stockport for an earlier league reverse at their hands. Only other club side to play on Saturday was the Thirds who went down 26-8 to Sandbach Seconds. All other games were lost to the rain.
I had an interesting call last week from the Press Office at Twickenham and I learned that Bollington Cross Primary School had made contact to get some literature on the Six Nations, which began so well for England in the cauldron of the Millennium Stadium on Friday night. It seems that the School Cook – Jackie Barber – likes to introduce themes to the school dinners when any international events , sporting or otherwise, take place and during the course of the Six Nations then dinners the day before England play will be themed. This week I understand it is to be an Azzurri Pasta dish and as some of the youngsters from the school play tag/mini rugby at Priory Park, it is hoped that there will be representation from the Senior Squad at the dinner. Good healthy eating ready for Blaydon.
The 200 Club finally got under way a week ago thanks to the efforts of Albert Simpson when he was handed the poisoned chalice a few weeks ago and the first draws saw results as follows:
November: J Brown (£100) K Oliver (£60) K Culley (£30)
December: M J Good (£150) J Knight (£60) A Close (£30)
January: J F Brown (£100) J Parker (£60) L Jennings (£30)
Good to see a few long serving club members in this list but, where is my number? I last had a touch back in the 1970’s when we were at Tytherington!
Games this weekend:
1st vs Blaydon: League, Away, 2:15pm
2nd vs Stockport: Raging Bull Cup, Home
3rd vs Preston Grasshoppers 3: League, Home
4th vs Marple 3: League, Home
Vets vs TBA
All this and Super League starts this weekend at the Millennium Stadium! My happiness is complete.