At this time of the season the matches come thick and fast before it finally comes to an end and this weekend sees two of the biggest and best this great county of ours can offer. All being well, ickledot's seeing both!
On Sunday comes one of the season's club highlights right at the top of the domestic game: the first of the play-off matches to decide which club will be promoted to the Aviva Premiership. Further south Bedford Blues are playing Bristol and at Headingley Yorkshire Carnegie are up against Doncaster Knights. Both ties are over two legs, the return fixture being in a week's time.
As regular readers know, ickledot's photographed both Yorkshire sides this season (and Rotherham Titans!); Carnegie's win against Moseley and their clash with the Knights in Doncaster. Photographing the Knights has become a more regular (and hugely enjoyable) occurrence and he'll be at the end they're attacking once more on Sunday. It was a tight and feisty affair when they last met and it's sure to be close this time too with the stakes being so high. Here's Knights' Michael Hills (above) describing his journey with the club and just how important the game is.
Before that though, on Saturday in Otley, the day and location for rugby and another great sporting event: the annual Tour de Yorkshire. The women's race starts there at around 8.15am according to the tour's website. By the time ickledot arrives around 4pm he hopes much of the cycling traffic will have gone as he'll be seeing the great local derby: Otley against Harrogate.
At risk of becoming a bore, ickledot also witnessed the corresponding fixture last season, played on an extremely cold Saturday in February when much of the rugby programme was postponed due to frozen pitches. I've described the mudfest it became many times before and it featured in ickledot's booklet Rugby Union Yorkshire 2015. It was a photographic highlight of the season so a good excuse to show a favourite shot or two from the game.
Harrogate won that match by a score of 20-10 (they also came out on top at home back in September this season) so Otley will be out for revenge this time. The game is doubling as a decider in the quarter finals of the Yorkshire Cup so there's more than just league points at stake. We're going through another cold snap right now but surely the conditions can't be as bad as that Saturday in February on the last day of April?
So, a feast of top class rugby. Can't wait!