Don't know where you are but here in West Yorkshire we're experiencing a cold snap with snow at the moment. And so it was with some trepidation I set out on the journey to Otley yesterday to see the a near-top of the table clash between local rivals Otley and Harrogate. Although it was dreadfully cold, the pitch was surprisingly soft. However, it was saturated, so after only a few minutes' play both teams were covered head to foot in sticky mud. It made movement and general play difficult for them, requiring a change of kit for both teams at half-time, but for me it was visual gold!
The game represented something of a first for me as it featured two sides I'd seen and photographed several times recently. Not having a team to feature caused a bit of a dilemma as to which end to position myself. Given the conditions an element of laziness took over in the end although I did reason that both sides would get equal attention if I stayed in the same place throughout the match. Limited success in that policy as Otley's try came at the other end, as did Harrogate's winning effort. I did manage to capture Harrogate's first try scorer, Callum Irvine, in close-up celebration mode though, along with great dollops of ruck, maul and scrum action, all topped with that dark, sticky, glorious mud!
On this occasion honours went to the away side, Harrogate; now unbeaten for an impressive seven games. Their ascendancy points wise only came about midway through the second half, Otley offering stiff resistance without being able penetrate themselves, but the win was deserved.
Not especially fast, low scoring, but still an excellent dour contest nevertheless. As always, you can see more pictures from the game here.