Another tough day at the Mill with the short trip to Whitefield being unproductive as the physical Sedgley Park side took the points against a Macclesfield side which seems to be low in confidence on the road but hopefully with injury concerns on the wane the side can look forward to a home game on Saturday when fellow strugglers Sheffield Tigers make the short journey to Priory Park from their Dore Moor HQ in what will be a battle to get away from the bottom third of National Two North. Both clubs have similar records P6 W2 L4 but the Blues just hold the sway with those all important ‘bonus points’ and hopefully home advantage in front of what I hope will be a large and vociferous crowd come 3.pm. Saturday should pave the way to success.
Away from Priory Park the National Two games at the top of the table went the way of leaders Stourbridge who won 40-11 at Blaydon, Tynedale who beat Saturday’s opposition at Dore Moor (29-10) and local rivals from Heywood Road – Sale – who beat Hinckley 21-6 and certainly Tynedale & Stourbridge are already moving away from the rest with a seven point gap twixt Tyne & Sale but as many have said it is only the start of month two of a gruelling campaign for all clubs and clearly much to play for until the campaign closes next April. At the other end of the table there were defeats for Sheffield (35-26 at South Leicester), Wharfedale 10-3 in a tight encounter at Chester which kept them all below ourselves. However it is only the end of month one of an eight month season with many more ups and downs to come by the end of April 18 so ‘watch this space’.
I watched the Lions at Priory Park on Saturday and in a flowing entertaining game they beat Firwood Waterloo to record their first victory of the season by 60-21 with the veteran campaigner and team Manager – Iain Taylor – stripping back the years with a well taken ‘hat-trick’ of tries and a deserved smile on his face in the clubhouse afterwards. This game, I have to say, was played in an excellent spirit by both sides. The 3rd XV lost at Priory Park to Wilmslow Seconds by 35-15 in another high scoring game and the 4th XV also at Priory Park took on and beat Linley 2 by 24-14 to continue their early season success. Sadly I have no other detail of these games.
One thing is becoming clear at Priory Park and that is the need for anyone interested in the game to come along and get involved as, in common with many sports clubs, players are increasingly hard to come by so if you would like to play our great game do make contact with the club or turn up at training on Tuesday/Thursday and make your interest known or simply ring the club on 827899.
In the big climax of that ‘other code’s’ season at Old Trafford in front of 70,000+ it was a somewhat disappointing end to the season as season’s pacemakers Castleford were out thought by the experience of the Leeds Rhino’s in a rather scrappy encounter at the Grand Final of a long campaign. I can only hope that next season those in the primrose & blue of The Wire get their act together to bring success to the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Watch this space!!
In the Premiership our ‘local’ side Sale Sharks were on the wrong end of a high scoring game at Harlequins by 42-26on Friday night but at least they came away from London with a try scoring bonus point to stay in the mix. Champions Exeter still setting the pace there but our thoughts will soon be turning to the Autumn Internationals which will give something of a guide as to how the Six Nations may pan out next year.
Games this Saturday as follows and it is a break from League Rugby for the 2nd, 3rd & 4th teams as the various Cup Competitions kick in:-
1st v. Sheffield Tigers – Home – 3.pm.
2nd v. Wilmslow – Cup – Away
3rd v. Preston Grasshoppers – Cup – Away
4th v. Moore – Cup – Home
That’s it for now – off to Buxton to see the Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band tonight so enjoy your Rugby – I do,