Last Saturday our side made the long journey into Northumberland to play our first-ever game against the league leaders Blaydon, who had suffered two consecutive relegations from National One and National Two North. They seem determined to put the brakes on regarding a third drop and had won their first two matches. They met stronger opposition in Hull and our boys won a very hard and close game by 26-24 to take the five points with Blaydon picking up two bonus points. Hull try scorers were Mike Adlard, Alex Heard, Harvey Harding and Mike Jobling, with Simon Humberstone converting three of them.
Elsewhere in the division Kendal and Vale of Lune had an arm-wrestle at Mint Bridge where the home side won a very close game by 15-12; new league leaders Billingham entertained Sandal and in a tremendous battle they won by 33-32 and are now the only unbeaten side in the division. Ilkley had a resounding home win over Kirkby Lonsdale by 43-5; Rossendale were well beaten by 31-13 at Harrogate and after beating Hull 29-28 in the opening game of the season have now lost two matches; in a battle between two of the promoted sides today’s visitors entertained Alnwick and went down by 26-17 to the Northumbrians and finally Wirral had a good home win over last season’s much-fancied Lymm side.
All this means that the top four sides are Billingham on 14 points, Blaydon on 12 and Ilkley and Hull on 11. Down in the nether regions the bottom three are Vale of Lune with just 1 point, Lymm are on 4 and Kirkby Lonsdale have 5.
This week’s fixtures have thrown up some very interesting games both at top and bottom. First choices must be Billingham v Ilkley where first play third followed by Harrogate v Wirral where fifth play sixth. At the other end bottom-placed Vale of Lune v twelfth-placed Kirkby Lonsdale will be a crunch game for both sides as will the Sandal v Rossendale clash where eighth play eleventh.
I will stick my neck out and say that the winners will be Billingham, Harrogate, Kirkby Lonsdale and Sandal. But I could be wrong, I have often been so in the past!!
The club have signed a new scrum-half in 22-year old Tommy Sawdon. Tommy is an East Hull lad whose family emigrated to Australia sixteen years ago when Tommy was just 6. He was introduced to the club on Tuesday night by one of our long standing supporters Mr. Peter Richards who is a friend of his family. It is hoped that Tommy will be able to provide cover for Harvey Harding whose new work commitments means he can only play every other Saturday.
I am sure we all welcome Tommy to our club and hope that he enjoys his time with us.
Next Saturday our team are on the road again with a cross-Pennine trip to Kendal, a very good club to visit who are always a difficult side to beat at Mint Bridge. The following Saturday (6th October) is a blank day for the club.