Early Sunday morning and the drabness and cloud shrouding the Ilkley game had disappeared to reveal a clear sky and bright sunshine. It was only a degree or so above freezing as ickledot crossed the Pennines, bound for Lancaster and the Vale of Lune Rugby Club. Yorkshire Girls Under 15 and 18 rugby squads were on the road again for the final encounters of their county season.
The opponents were Lancashire; a return game following the initial meeting in Doncaster just a few weeks ago.
It would be entirely wrong to complain following the near darkness of the previous day but if there was a problem at all on this brightest of mornings it was the low winter sun casting its sharp beams across the two pitches. The difficulty now photographically was avoiding over exposure, particularly as Yorkshire played in bright white shirts.
Unusually the two pitches were laid out in two different directions. While the Under 15s played with the sun shining across their pitch from the side, the Under 18s had the more difficult task of playing towards the sun for half of their game.
As with the season's two previous fixtures, the matches were played simultaneously so ickledot chose to photograph the Under 15s for the first half and the Under 18s for the second. It would have been preferable to see the whole of both games but this was the next best thing.
Yorkshire's Under 15s began brightly, scoring a try in the opening minutes of their game and adding points steadily throughout the first forty. Unfortunately it's not been possible to find the final result of this or the other game although, speaking to Sharon Crowther, Yorkshire Under 15s retiring manager, Lancashire Under 15s fared much better in the second half and were able to limit Yorkshire's scoring much more effectively. Well done to them.
There was a similar story in the second half of the Under 18s game. While Yorkshire ran through several tries and were clearly ahead, Lancashire fought hard and were rewarded with a try of their own in the final minutes.
There's an early sneaky peek at some pictures over on Flickr but for those wishing to download a picture or two from a wider selection, why not have a look in the ickledot shop. So, the future looks bright for Yorkshire's women rugby players after this successful season for the girls. We'll how the senior women players get on in the new year when hopefully the weather will be a tad warmer.