ickledot's first rugby match of 2015 and a great win for Yorkshire U20s, made even more satisfying as it came on foreign soil - across in the Pennines in the heart of Lancashire. Despite the presence of a low winter sun slanting across the pitch throughout the game, the temperature barely lifted itself above freezing on a bitterly cold afternoon. Steam drifted off sweating scrums while wiry backs waited, stepping from foot to foot and wringing hands in an effort to keep warm. Yorkshire hit first with an early try and conversion that stunned the home crowd. Lancashire were quick to reply with a try of their own though and many expected a pattern of hit and reply had been established. Yorkshire had other ideas though and took control of the game almost from that moment onwards, running in no less than seven tries almost without further reply from the home side. For good measure Chris Bell had a great day with the boot, adding two point insult to five point injury on almost every occasion.
Still much work to be done as perhaps the biggest threat, Northumberland, wait in the wings at the end of January. Good to know though that progression to the knock out rounds is now assured - the cherry on the cake of a final win will bring added vital home advantage in those sudden death stages.
Image above shows scrum half James Thompson, a key figure in Yorkshire's early domination. It's also featured on ickledot's 'best of' 500px pages. You can see more images from the game here and an official match report here.