Determined Durham Win Out In See-Saw Encounter

Just one rugby match last weekend as I had another photographing commitment on Friday evening and Saturday. A bit more of that later. Made up for it on Sunday though when I drove the short distance to Keighley Rugby Club to see Yorkshire U16 take on Durham.

It was an exciting game played in dull but dry conditions. I've mentioned before how Keighley now have a gleaming new artificial pitch so the fact that at least one match had already taken place on it minutes before made no difference to the way it played: solid and true.

As I think happened on the previous occasion I photographed this Yorkshire age group, they began very brightly, scoring no fewer than two tries in the first few minutes, including the dramatic solo run below.

Run and touch down for Sai (according to Instagram!)

Although Durham recovered somewhat with scores of their own, the home side added a further try to bring the score to 15-10 around the half way mark. It was a skilful chip and run. By this time I'd moved to the 22 metre line so captured the chip reasonably well but was not so close to the actual touch down.

Tom Clarke: Chip and run

The second half belonged to Durham. Though Yorkshire pushed hard and created a number of chances, the visitors' defence held firm and was not penetrated, a three point penalty being the hosts' only reward. By that point Durham had already levelled so it was 18-15 going into the final ten minutes. It was nail biting stuff and, just as they were beginning to think it might be won, Yorkshire spirits were broken as Durham ran in what proved to be the winning try, the conversion making a final score of 18-22. Congratulations to them and well played everyone - a great game. A special mention to the young Durham player who thanked me for photographing. Much appreciated, especially as most images I took featuring their best moments were from a distance. Can't be everywhere!

Unbelievably there have been over 30,000 views of the 96 or so pictures on Flickr in the two days since the game. I've had several requests to purchase downloads so I've put the collection into the ickledot shop - with a few extras not previously seen. Download whichever you want. A donation helps to pay for gear and fuel so whatever you can manage would be gratefully accepted.

The other photographing commitment? A long way removed from rugby, it was a rock and roll mini cruise across the North Sea to Bruges and back. Most enjoyable and here's a favourite shot from the event (the Revolutionaires, also, appropriately, from Durham).