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What we know about Tynedale

What do we know about Tynedale?
Hull RUFC and Tynedale RFC have never met in league rugby and our only experience of playing against them was on September 18, 2004 when we beat them 26-20 in the first round of the old PowerGen Cup at our former Haworth Park ground.
Hull were playing in the old North Division One which was level five at the time whilst Tynedale were in NationaL League One which was level four.
Tynedale RFC were formed on October 11th 1878 at Hexham and became founder members of the Northumberland RFU in 1880.  The club leased a new ground, Dene Park, for the start of the 1902-03 season.  They won the County Cup, for the first of their 24 victories in the competition, in 1887 and such was the enthusiasm in the town that six other local clubs joined them in forming one larger club.  These clubs were Hexham Excelsior, Heart of All England, Hexham Wanderers, Tyneside Rovers, Parkend Rangers and Hexham Violets, all colourful names from a long distant past.
Dene Park was purchased in 1926 to commemorate the club’s Golden Jubilee and various improvements were made to the ground.
No club rugby was played during both world wars but during the inter-war period Tynedale enjoyed great success and became a nationally known name in the world of rugby union.
Dene Park was sold in in the late 1960s and the club moved to their present ground of Tynedale Park in the nearby village of Corbridge, which was the former Tynedale Agricultural Society Showground.  This is a wonderful venue with seven pitches, two of which are floodlit for training purposes, along with a ground capacity of 2000 which includes a 400 seater covered stand.
League rugby came to the Rugby Union in season 1987-88 and Tynedale were placed in North Division One (level 5) and their first ever league game was at Otley where they were beaten 24-0. They would also have played against one of our predecessors, Hull and East Riding RUFC, who were also placed in North One.  In 1999-2000 Tynedale were promoted as champions into the old National Three North (level 4) where they stayed until 2007-08 when they were promoted to National Division Two (level 3).  They were later relegated into the present National Two North in 2014-15 and are now in their fifth season at that level. In those four seasons they have finished 10th, 6th, 4th and 6th respectively and are highly regarded as one of the best sides in the division.
In their opening game last week Tynedale lost to visitors Luctonians, another newly promoted side, by 36-33 with Lucs scoring the winning try with the last move of the game.  After drawing with Huddersfield last week to the final kick of the game Hull can appreciate how they felt about it!!
Norman Angell.

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