If Sunday was bright in parts at Hull Ionians, Saturday in Doncaster was positively Spring like, with bright sunshine and clear skies. Only the temperature reminded us it was still Winter - very cold! Interesting how photographers are never really content. While ickledot found pleasure in the light after so many weekends of grey cloud and gloom, a photographer chum remarked how the sharp contrast between sun and shade was such a headache. The low sun was a bit of a hazard for spectators too at times (see above!). The visitors and opponents for the Knights on this day were Ealing Trailfinders.
Have to admit it was halfway through the game before ickledot made the link between Ealing's name, Trailfinders, and the travel agents who had assisted in arranging his holidays to the USA, last summer and a forthcoming trip in April. They wore the Trailfinders logo and the brand's colours on their strip. Pretty obvious really.
Anyway, you'll already know the result by now so won't go into too much detail. The first half was quite miserable photographically as much play was at the other end. It has to be said though, the Knights defended magnificently and could have been much further behind at the break than 3-9. Sad to report also that the Knights lost influential playmaker Mat Clark with a suspected broken leg during this period.
Trailfinders continued to attack in the early skirmishes of the second half but then, almost against the run of play DK scrum half Michael Heaney ran through for a try and set up an exciting, tense finish.
As ickledot moved from the 22 metre line to the try line which Knights were attacking, they really began to pile on the pressure and suddenly the action was very close at hand. Knights actually moved ahead then with a debut try for Aaron Carpenter.
The joy was short lived though as Knights conceded the latest of tries. And then, as if to add insult to injury, a drop goal. So the game was lost just as the crowd was beginning to anticipate victory. Sport can be cruel but that's where the excitement lives. This had been a third and fourth place battle and the points difference was such that the Knights ended the game still ahead, only not quite as comfortably so. You can see a few more pictures from the encounter over on Flickr.
Tried out a mini spotlight, the Lume Cube, to photograph the post match guard of honour. It didn't seem to have any effect at the time but it actually did a great job in removing the shadow beneath players' eyes. Here's a pleasing portrait of Dougie Flockhart to illustrate the point.
ickledot's photobook 'Valiant Knights' was launched in the club shop, selling well on its first day. The Knights people did a great job in advertising it on their site. There's a limited number of copies so, if you're looking to buy one, do it soon!