Guess it's bound to happen, the more rugby matches one goes to, in different places about the county, the more connections are going to be made and the more people you're going to meet who know other people you've met. So it was this weekend, another one involving three games; another one filled with inclement weather of varying types and combinations. More of each game in a subsequent post but in this one ickledot's going to highlight a couple of these coincidences or 'it's a small world' occurrences.
On Saturday arrived at Yarnbury's ground during the half-time break of their match against North Ribblesdale. If you've been reading these posts for a while you may remember ickledot's visit to 'North Ribb' towards the end of last season, a thrilling match against Scarborough which was won from a 19-0 deficit. On Saturday there was almost a similar recovery but not quite. Anyway, back to half-time and who should pass me on his way to the bar but Robbie Davidson, one of many heroes during that Yorkshire Under 20 championship winning run last May. That's him pictured above, scoring a try in the semi-final against Cornwall, a more comprehensive win or delightful performance one could not wish to see (and away from home too). In and amongst various bits of catching up and reminiscences, Robbie mentioned in passing that his brother coached the county U18 team.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon at the home of Sandal Rugby Club. The aforementioned U18 side were playing Cumbria in the second of their two match season. A few minutes before kick-off Tom, brother of Robbie, introduced himself. A player with Wharfedale, Tom explained how he had also achieved Twickenham success with the U20 team back in 2010 and now he was both 'putting something back' and also gaining experience in coaching. This was his first season in County coaching - a successful one, as the U18s were to finish unbeaten.
It was also good to catch up with medic James Currigan, another vital member of the U20 staff. Main coincidence of the day though was recognising the U18 winger and scorer of the afternoon's first and breakthrough try, Louis Brown, as the same player who'd impressed for Pontefract only a week earlier. It had been ickledot's first viewing of both teams on two separate weekends in two different places and yet it was the same individual featuring prominently. OK, the two grounds are only ten or so miles apart, but you know, out of all the hundreds of games … Well, I thought it was a coincidence anyway.
More to come on the games themselves in a future post but if the pictures have whetted your appetite you can see more of the Sandal mudfest here. And if you want a nostalgic look back to that epic game in Cornwall, go here.