Following a weekend without rugby it was great to get out onto the touchlines once more with no fewer than three games, two new venues and one Yorkshire club not photographed before. More of the club in the next post but this one concentrates on Sunday and a trip to Darlington Rugby Club to witness the area cup finals for girls throughout the age groups.
ickledot was concentrating on just two of the finals at under 15 and under 18 levels. The Darlington club has a most impressive site (easily found within a very short distance of the A1) covering a wide area and a good number of pitches.
Luckily, both of ickledot's featured games were on the same pitch and both involved West Park Leeds. Regular readers will know that ickledot has photographed several of the senior women's matches at WPL this season and quite a number of the girls playing at Darlington had also represented Yorkshire at both ages for three games before Christmas.
First up were the Under 15s, playing against Tynedale. There were one or two familiar faces in the Tynedale team as they too had represented their county, Northumberland, before Christmas. Early signs were good for WPL as they were first to score with a try under the posts.
However, Tynedale responded quickly with a try of their own and so a pattern was established for the rest of the game. While WPL looked the stronger in the early parts of the second half, spending a good deal of time attacking their opponent's line, Tynedale's defence was solid and resilient.
Having absorbed a good deal of pressure, Tynedale had enough in the tank to break out and score the late try which broke the deadlock. Well done to them and congratulations to both sides for such a keenly fought match in heavy conditions. In addition to the pictures over on Flickr there are more for you to view (and buy perhaps?) in the ickledot shop.
Next came the under 18s, WPL once more but this time the opponents were Castleford; near enough geographically to perhaps be considered as local (friendly) rivals, some of the squad also being team mates in the recent Yorkshire games.
How to describe this match? ickledot does not possess the technical no how to explain why things went as they did and would not wish to add to WPL's pain by going into too much detail.
Suffice it to say that Castleford played brilliantly from start to finish and on the day were dominant in all areas. While the forwards controlled scrum, ruck and maul, the backs broke through WPL's defence with a ferocity that was irresistible.
West Park defended admirably and refused to give up until the final few minutes as Castleford piled on the points. They amassed more than eighty in the end and thoroughly deserved their victory. Congratulations to them and commiserations to WPL. Once again there are pictures over on Flickr and a larger selection in the ickledot shop.