"We need you!" cried Hugh the coach and ickledot answered the call! Not to play mind you, but to take photos of course. When not coaching Yorkshire Under 20s, Hugh is also head coach of Pontefract Rugby Club and has been so for the last couple of seasons. The team is riding high near the top of Yorkshire League Two at the moment and so wanted some photographic memories before the season ends.
Although ickledot has been to Pontefract's ground on quite a few occasions to photograph Yorkshire Under 20s' coaching sessions or trial games, this was only the second time he'd watched the club side. Last time it was against Ripon in November 2015. He also attended a pre-season training session in the summer of that year. Opponents on this day were Old Grovians, a new team for ickledot. They arrived with only fifteen players - a team with no substitutes. Their lower league position suggested it could be a challenging afternoon and with the prospect of no fresh legs after an hour or so, their task became ever more difficult. This being only a day after the game the official reports have not yet been written so apologies for a lack of names in this scant summary (Monday: official report in now). Old Grovians began quite well, moving the ball and putting the home defence under a degree of pressure in the opening minutes.
However, whatever optimism this might have brought was short lived as Pontefract moved into gear with a sharp passing move that brought a first try virtually under the posts.
A second try down the left didn't quite open the flood gates of point scoring but Pontefract were able to add to their tally at a steady rate throughout the rest of the game. Grovians misery was added to when one of their number was forced off with injury mid way through the second half.
The final score was 41-0; convincing without being an absolute mauling. Old Grovians should be proud of their perseverance despite the mounting scoreline and limited resources.
A good win for Pontefract which maintains their position at third place and possibly moves them up to second - at the time of writing it's impossible to find how the team three points above them, Old Rishworthians, have fared. As usual, if you like these pictures there are more over on Flickr.