After an extremely mild autumn the temperatures finally plummeted last weekend and on Friday evening the thermals were finally pulled out of the wardrobe for the first of three fixtures in as many days. The first was an encounter between Bradford & Bingley's mixed ability Bumbles and Baildon, a club perched on top of one of the highest hills around, thus lowering the temperature a degree or two more. Despite this, the game was enjoyable and high scoring. Played under not the brightest floodlights, it provided an opportunity to see how well ickledot's new camera, the Canon 7D Mk2 performed. Looking at the LED screen it was a bit of a surprise to see the auto ISO jumping right up to 12800. Still, the exposure meter was showing the needle to be right in the centre where it should be. I'd read elsewhere that this camera produced acceptable images even with such a sky-high ISO but to see it actually happening was very pleasing. Yes, there was a degree of 'noise' but Adobe Lightroom was able to remove quite an amount of it. I'm sure that inadequacies would become clear if large prints were produced but the resulting shots were good enough for digital consumption and I'm sure the young man scoring the try below was pleased to have a permanent record of his achievement.
Saturday afternoon was possibly the coldest period of the weekend, the time when ickledot journeyed eastwards along the M62 to see the game between Pontefract and Ripon. Again this was quite a high scoring affair with Pontefract, the home side, moving ahead before half-time. However, in the second forty minutes Ripon's forwards seemed to grow ever stronger, winning the majority of scrums, and it was they who emerged as winners by a score of 23-25. A close one! The shot below shows Pontefract's Louis Brown running in to score. You can see more from the game here.
Regular readers will know that Yorkshire U20s campaign last season ended with a national championship win at Twickenham. Sunday marked the start of the campaign for this season's cohort. And what a baptism of fire it was, a game against Wharfedale Foresters. It was a degree or two warmer than the previous day and pleasantly sunny at Wharfedale's Grassington HQ, but still the cold was biting. Wharfedale were strong and well organised from the off, scoring a couple of tries before Yorkshire were able to reply with a push over of their own. However that was their only score of the afternoon and the home side continued to pile on the points, ending with a tally of 45. As Yorkshire's coach, Anthony Posa, was heard to remark afterwards, "There's a lot of work to do." Still, there's a good number of experienced players to return from injury and this county coaching team will certainly iron out the flaws.
It was a tad disappointing photographically too, to be sitting expectantly at one end of the pitch when all the action was happening at the other. The tactic on these occasions though, is to move to the side. Less chance to photograph a try there, of course, but there's more of an opportunity to snap the individual confrontations. Quite like the shot below - each player eyeing up the other, trying to determine which way they're each going to go. There are more from the game here.
So, a triple header rugby weekend completed! And more to look forward to next. Have a great week.