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Think you know Sheffield Tigers? Think again

Sheffield Tigers was formed in 1932/33 and played their first season matches at Concord Park, on the eastern side of Sheffield. In 1933, a pitch was rented at the rear of the Dore Moor Inn and changing facilities were provided in the loft above the old stables. As the club developed, a permanent site was needed and the present grounds were rented from the Hollins Hospital Trust in 1938. A clubhouse was built, the nucleus of the present pavilion, and two pitches laid down in front of it. At that time, the club was intended to be Sheffield Tigers Rugby and Cricket Club, so a wicket was laid between the two rugby pitches.

War was declared in 1939, which prevented the use of these new facilities until 1947, by which time the cricket club idea had been abandoned. A further pitch was rented behind the clubhouse which was shared with Nether Congs Cricket Club. In the mid-sixties, Tigers took over sole use of this area, and the pitch was levelled, and laid out as the new First XV pitch. To compensate for the loss of one pitch while the levelling took place, a fourth pitch was rented from beside the Dore Moor Inn on a renewable short term lease. This pitch came to be known as the ‘Eiger’ due to its slope, and was eventually purchased by Tigers in 1995. The remaining grounds were finally purchased from the Hollins Hospital Trust in 1998.

The clubhouse has been extended three times since 1947, and, at the end of 1999, the club opened their present clubhouse and pitch redevelopment which was funded with a sports lottery grant of £570,000. The First XV pitch is now located in front of the refurbished clubhouse and this has given the club playing and changing facilities second to none in the area. 

The first game was played on Sept 10th 1932 when the new club lost 12-3 at Scunthorpe but the following game was won by 9-3 at Concord Park against a local works side Atlas and Norfolk.  One year later a lease was signed with the licensee of the Dore Moor Inn for a field behind the pub, with the dressing rooms above the pub stables.  During the 1938-39 season the Tigers signed a lease for the present Dore Moor grounds and work began leveling a pitch and building a club house. Enter a certain Adolf Hitler and no games were played during the Second World War but in 1946-47 the Dore Moor facilities were used for the first time.

When league rugby began in 1987-88 Sheffield Tigers were placed in Yorkshire Division Two but it was not until 2000-01 that they gained promotion to Yorkshire One and they also won the Yorkshire Shield for the first time with a 20-3 victory over Scarborough. Two seasons later they were relegated back to Yorkshire Two.

2004-05 was a landmark season for Sheffield Tigers as they became champions of Yorkshire Two, won the PowerGen Junior Vase at Twickenham, beating Solihull by 30-13 and then won the Yorkshire Shield for the second time with a 29-19 win over West Park Bramhope. 2005-06 saw the club win Yorkshire One and gain promotion to North Two East. The following season they gained promotion to North One by virtue of winning the play-off game. This season saw the first ever game between Hull and Sheffield Tigers when Hull beat them 27-21 in a Yorkshire Cup Round Two fixture.

In 2010-11 the Tigers were promoted to National Two North after being geographically relocated to Midlands One. They were relegated back to National Three North at the end of 2013-14 but regained their status in 2015-16 and have remained there since then.

Hull have met the Tigers on 14 occasions with the results as follows;

Yorks Cup:
2005-06: Tigers 21 – Hull 27
Yorks Cup:
2006-07: Hull 34 – Tigers 3
North One:
2007-08: Tigers 20 – Hull 15, Hull 60 – Tigers 5
2008-09: Tigers 18 – Hull 16, Hull 3 – Tigers 5
Nat Two North:
2011-12: Hull 29 – Tigers 33, Tigers 55 – Hull 10
2012-13: Hull 40 –  Tigers 31, Tigers 15 – Hull 32
2013-14: Tigers 6 – Hull  18, Hull 39 – Tigers 16
Nat Three North:
2015-16: Hull 21 – Tigers 22, Tigers 17- Hull 15  

So the tally is seven wins and seven defeats for both sides.   

This season the Tigers are in fourth position in the table having won five of their eight matches. It is very good to be meeting them again in what should prove a difficult task for our side.

Norman Angell.                  

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