3rd November 2017

After a long run without a ‘W’ the Blues returned to the points with a gritty performance at Priory Park against a South Leicester side that the previous week had beaten high flying Tynedale inflicting a first defeat of the season on the North East outfit and the 18-9 victory meant that the visitors failed to cross the whitewash and this result will set the squad up for the tests to come starting on Saturday at Hinckley who recorded a very good victory at Tynedale by 20-18 and in doing so replaced them in second spot in the table with leaders and still unbeaten Stourbridge creating a nine point cushion at the top with a close fought victory over Sedgley Park in the Midlands by 33-31.

Elsewhere Blaydon went down 20-14 at Sheffield to give the home club their first ‘W’ of the season at the bottom of the table with current basement club Wharfedale losing at home to Leicester Lions but as I keep being told it is still early days and as we enter November the campaign is but 1/3rd over. The Blues result however moves us that little bit further away from the ‘danger zone’ with a couple of tough games to come before the squad have a break with 18 November being a ‘reserve’ date and with injuries hopefully clearing up we can show our true potential on the park.

On Saturday I took a break from Priory Park and a long standing arrangement with a former Ampthill player and neighbour of mine saw us travel to Thurstaston on the Wirral to see Ampthill play Caldy in a National One encounter with Ampthill holding sway in a high scoring encounter by 39-22 with nine tries being scored on the open spaces of Telegraph Road.  Caldy, of course, replaced The Blues in National One this season.  Just a bit wild and windy standing on the embankment there but a good atmosphere nonetheless.

Watching that game as a ‘neutral’ it was interesting just how many potential referees there are in a crowd each offering their advice on what should have happened on the park………………it doesn’t happen at Priory Park – does it ??

Elsewhere in the club the Lions (2nd XV) recorded an excellent 38-7 victory over Preston Grasshoppers at Lightfoot Green to make it two on the run and the 3rd XV got their season into winning ways with a 19-12 victory over Stockport Twos but the 4th team went down 27-20 against Moore 1st XV but sadly I have not been provided with any further details of these games.

As we enter November we see the first of the Autumn Internationals taking place with the Barbarians taking on New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday with England taking on Argentina at the same location a week later with all the home nations taking part in games as all start to tune up for the next World Cup which takes place in Japan in 2019 as well as the Six Nations which begin in the New Year.  With all the injury problems for the England Squad it will be interesting to see how the new players perform.

Reading The Rugby Paper on Sunday it was good to see two former ‘Blues’ players – Fergus & Charlie Mulchrone turning out for London Irish & Harlequins respectively.  Both made massive impressions when they turned out at Priory Park and they seem to have settled into life at a higher sphere.

This weekend as we see the clocks go back then keep an eye on kick off times as the Lions, 3rd & 4th teams will be kicking off at either 2.15.pm. or 2.30.pm. with an occasional 1st team game away from Priory Park also kicking off earlier.  As always the 1st XV will kick off at 3.pm. at Priory Park with the lights on.

Saturday’s games:-

1st v. Hinckley – Away – 3.pm.
2nd v. Sedgley Park – Home
3rd v. Wirral – Away
4th v. Knutsford – Home

For those travelling to Hinckley they play at Leicester Road, Hinckley LE10 3DR and from Priory Park it is just over 89 miles so allow two hours for travel.

Enjoy your Rugby – I do,

‘CLUBMAN’