The bright blues skies and sunshine of Saturday in Harrogate continued into Sunday at Bramhope, the home of West Park Leeds Rugby Club. As longer term readers will know, ickledot has photographed the club's men on a number of occasions, most notably to witness their promotion a couple of seasons ago. Today though it was the women's turn. With a number of key players missing, their game against Novocastrians was an even greater challenge than initially anticipated.
West Park had enjoyed a convincing win just a weekend before but on this day things were not going as well. The home side enjoyed a good deal of possession in the first half but were unable to convert any dominance into points. As sometimes happens, as the game wore on Novocastrians became more confident, strung a number of passes together and went through to score a converted try. West Park's frustration was intensified when Novos intercepted a loose pass and raced over once more.
Whatever was said or done at half-time, it worked for West Park and the fourteen point deficit was reduced to seven within a few minutes. All of a sudden the fluency, inexplicably absent throughout the first forty, seemed such simplicity to achieve.
Novos were dogged in defence though - determined to deny further inroads into their lead. At one point it seemed West Park were over, only to see their effort disallowed as a knock on. Finally, as the last few minutes ebbed away, a Novos pass back was fumbled beyond the try line and leaped on by an alert attacker. A try! Cruel for the noble Novocastrians but such relief for West Park! Two points from the conversion and the home side was level.
And that's how the game ended. You can see more pictures from the match over on Flickr. Finally, ickledot cannot recall a time when a club has asked for a team picture to be taken before a game. Discovered after that West Park were playing in a brand new kit and were keen to show their sponsors how much it was appreciated. And great it looked too.