The Missing Doncaster Harrogate Weekend

Well, it's midweek, Wednesday evening, and we're all moving away from remembering our previous weekend and beginning to look forward to the next one. Not that all good thing happens at the weekend of course. Anyway, before it disappears into the mists of time all together I thought I'd tell you a little about the weekend before the last one, involving trips to Doncaster and Harrogate.

Try for Will Owen, buried beneath a Leinster body

On Saturday 14 October the Knights were playing Leinster A in the cup. Unfortunately they went down to quite a heavy defeat so best forgotten from that point of view (although it spurred them on to a famous victory at Bristol the following week). The light that day was reasonably good and some pleasing action shots ensued.

Knights' Matt Challinor stretches at a lineout ball

I was reasonably near all three of the Knights' tries but unfortunately at the wrong angle in that I was poised near the 22 metre line. A picture of a try taken from that angle doesn't tell the story clearly as it would if viewed from the end of the pitch (see the top picture).

Tyson Lewis grapples for the ball

So it was other bits of action that provided my favourite shots. The lineout one above I like because the ball is right at the end of the outstretched fingertips of the leaping player (won't tell you whether he reached it or not - in this shot he's eternally almost there). An added bonus is the ball's brand 'Gilbert' is the right way round and clearly legible. Below that is one of two favourites from the day; right in on a specific tussle between two players for the ball. You've got the ball itself, the hands of both players striving to get hold of it, together with their facial expressions. I don't think I cropped the picture too much, the play was very close to me, but did so just enough to include those elements and not a lot else.

The one immediately above was my favourite on the day. Again, it's quite close in on the action. The low Autumn sun has a part to play as it illuminates the eyes of the player passing the ball. It's a vital moment as he's just managed to get the ball away before being tackled to the ground. The ball is poised in mid-air, absolutely sharp, and the grimace on the face of the Leinster tackler adds further drama to the scene. Not sure whether either of these two would make it into my portfolio but I do like them. What do you think?

On Sunday it was Harrogate for game between the club's ladies team and Halifax. Again it was a tale of a team beating another quite convincingly. Harrogate have begun the season well and their play during this game illustrated why. Local paper, the Harrogate Advertiser reported on the match, and included some of my pics

Shots of this game tended to be a bit wider than the previous day, although the top shot is quite closely cropped. I like both of the players' expressions as Sophie, the Harrogate forward, forces her way through. I have a sequence of pictures of this particular tussle but this one has the best expressions. The shot below is a run in for the final Harrogate try of the match. I like the way the ball carrier's feet are both off the ground. You can see more pictures from the game here

Despite a mounting score against them, Halifax worked hard throughout and were rewarded with a well deserved try of their own in the closing minutes of the match

And the next weekend's not too far away - another trip to Doncaster and a first county game. Hope yours is good!