Great start for Yorkshire And Other News

I’ve done it again. A whole month since my last post. Often happens at this time of year, with the rugby union season coming to an end, that the frequency of matches increases and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to describe them all. 

With the club rugby union fixtures completed, last weekend the county season began. Unfortunately Yorkshire men and women’s games were on the same day and time so it was impossible to photograph them both. Having a prior engagement in the evening, I opted for the more local of the two and saw Yorkshire’s men take on Northumberland at the home of Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club. 

The visitors began well with a ten minute spell of possession in their opponent’s half. However, no points ensued and Yorkshire broke out to score. From then on the hosts were in control, steadily building a total of over fifty points with only a three point penalty to count against them. A great start and confidence builder for their next fixture against Cheshire at Huddersfield YMC Rugby Club next Saturday. You can see more pictures from the game over in the ickledot shop.

So, what else has been happening? Doncaster Knights brought their season to a close and I photographed three home fixtures; one victory and two defeats, including the final one against Cornish Pirates. It was also a time when we said goodbye to several club stalwarts including Paul Jarvis, Mat Clark and Richard List. It’s been a great honour to photograph these dedicated and skilful players and I wish them all the best for the future.

A favourite shot from Doncaster Knights’ end of season game with Cornish Pirates. Ben Hunter touches down as others support, resist or watch

I also photographed Hull Rugby Union Club in their final game of the season against Rossendale. They won their league’s championship with promotion to National League Two and gave a showcase demonstration which well illustrated the reason for this success.

Hull’s Stephen Hihetah races through for a score against Ribblesdale

The season ended well for Harrogate Ladies too with yet another promotion, this time to the second tier of women’s rugby. This was confirmed in a play off with Bletchley Ladies at Newark Rugby Club. If I remember rightly that was a whole weekend of Harrogate Rugby as I photographed the men’s fixture against Ilkley only a day before.

Harrogate Ladies: This picture of Alex Wallace scoring joyfully in the promotion play-off game against Bletchley has won a prize as DHL’s rugby moment of the month, judged by England’s Rachael Burford and GB 7’s James Rodwell

In rugby league, success has continued for my local club, Keighley Cougars. In the league they are now only a point in deficit, having begun the season at minus 12 following their financial woes over the summer. The only defeat I’ve witnessed so far was a narrow one in the Challenge Cup against local rivals Bradford Bulls. The Bulls being a league higher, it was something of a moral victory really. I’m immensely proud to have had my pictures on a couple of covers of the club programme, with several others inside. 

My shot of Cougars’ Taylor Prell scoring a long distance try featured on the cover of the club programme

Speaking of publications, I can now reveal that some of my pictures taken last February have been featured in the latest issue of Rugby Journal, a quarterly magazine covering all aspects of rugby union, from the elite stars to the grassroots. The pictures accompanied an article about Liverpool St Helens, one of the country’s oldest clubs. 

Liverpool St Helens and Heaton Moor. I’ve deliberately chosen a shot that isn’t in the magazine, encouraging you to go out a buy a copy!

On a completely different subject, some of my music pictures have also appeared in print, this time in UK Rock and Roll magazine. There’s a cover shot and more inside to go along with a review. 

Earl Jackson - on the cover of Rock and Roll magazine

Big congratulations to Yorkshire Under 20s by the way, winning yet another county championship at Twickenham, this time against Lancashire. Long term readers will know that I’ve accompanied the squad and photographed the final for the last four years. Unfortunately, exciting events to come  (I’ll explain more soon) made it difficult this year but I’m delighted that this age group has provided yet another success for Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Under 20s: National champions once more

Bit of a breathless catch up, I realise. Hopefully I’ll be able to write sooner next time, particularly with exciting county action coming up, followed by this very exciting ‘mystery’ action!