A Brighter Start To 2018

Ha! Not in a rugby sense though. A belated Happy New Year to everyone - hope your holiday was a good one and your year got off to a winning start, unlike the two teams ickledot photographed over the weekend. Having complained about the quality of light for the last month or so, it's great to report that the sun shone out of a clear blue sky, adding much light but very little heat as the temperature crept little over zero for both matches.

Tom Booth, a leader's role

Saturday brought the first visit of the season to what could be considered as ickledot's home club, Bradford & Bingley. It's the one where I first began taking photographs of rugby a number of seasons ago. Having established a firm position in North East One following promotion a couple of seasons ago, things are not going so well for the Bees in the current campaign. Many positions higher in the league, the day's visitors, Alnwick, were going to be a tough nut to crack.

Dan Jeffrey, rounding the ref (who also ran the line on Sunday!)

And so it was. Alnwick were fifteen points up in no time, keeping the home side on the back foot for much of the game. A glimmer of hope with a score early in the second half was ruthlessly snuffed out with two further Alnwick tries, culminating in a score of 19-36. As the Bees' match report concludes, an improvement is required if the club is to avoid relegation.

Tom Booth again, a lineout in the setting sun

It did get quite dark towards the end of the game but I like this shot of the Bees close to the Alnwick line with the referee watching closely

ickledot was quite close for one of the Bees' tries but a position on the sidelines with the setting sun behind me brought some pleasing shots of tackles, scrums and mauls, particularly as the mud was plentiful. See more pictures over on Flickr.

A very pleased but so far unidentified Alnwick player

It was great to catch up with my old friend and former teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, Michael. He was at the game collecting money for the Peter Greenwood Memorial Trust. Also a teacher of the deaf, Peter was a victim of the 1985 Bradford City fire. The Trust was set up in his memory to give bursaries to deaf students in further education.