Following a weekend without any rugby, ickledot was quite desperate to get back to the touchline. And so he did with no less than three sessions and four games from Friday to Sunday. The first two were played in bitterly cold and atrocious conditions (more of that in a future post) but there was a welcome and surprising change in the weather for a trip up north with Yorkshire's girls.
Driving up the A1 in pouring rain, it was amazing to see the clouds break and then fade away around Scotch Corner. On arrival at our destination the sun was shining brightly, continuing to do so all afternoon.
The venue was Tynedale Rugby Club in the Northumbrian town of Corbridge, under the shadow of Hadrian's Roman Wall. Similar to the recent festival in Doncaster, there were several county teams playing on the day but first to kick off was Yorkshire, playing against the hosts, Northumberland.
From a purely photographic standpoint it was a tad frustrating that both Under 15 and U18 matches were played on adjoining pitches at the same time, making it quite difficult to cover both adequately. As ickledot had begun with the Under 18s at Doncaster, the strategy this time was to stay with the Under 15 game for the first half at least. Under 18 teams play for slightly longer than their younger counterparts so there would be some overlap.
The Under 15 game was well contested throughout. Despite Yorkshire scoring tries at regular intervals, Northumberland also enjoyed long periods of possession and tackled fiercely, spending a good deal of time in their opponents' half. However their attacks often lacked that final pass or run needed to get over the line. The home team was rewarded with a try right at the end of their game; one that was deserved, given their effort and persistence.
The Under 18s game was somewhat more one-sided, a well-disciplined and talented Yorkshire team attacking forcefully right to the final minute and scoring more than eighty points. Once again though, the hosts did not give in despite the mounting scoreline. It was great to see them still smiling at the end. You can read a more detailed report of the game here.
Big well done to both of Yorkshire's teams. A great afternoon's rugby showing huge promise for the future.