Category Archives: Other Sports

Yorkshire 2nd XI v Durham 2nd XI

Friendly Match

Day 2 (of 3)

Wednesday 20th September 2017

10.30 Start

Yorkshire 2nd XI v Durham 2nd XI

@ Scarborough Cricket Club

North Marine Road

Scarborough

YO12 7TJ

Free Admission

£1 Official Scorecard, 4 pages.

I am not really a cricket fan, but with a full day to kill before an evening football match, this fitted the bill perfectly. Even better when it was free !

I had only ever been to one cricket match before…….New South Wales ‘SpeedBlitz Blues’ v England, played at Sydney Cricket Ground, Monday 13th November 2006 in a warm up to The Ashes. That was also Day 2 and played in a place beginning with the letter S, so at least I was continuing a theme….

Scarborough Cricket Ground has been hosting games since 1863 and has a current capacity of 11,500. The two ‘ends’ here are known as the Peasholm Park End and The Trafalgar Square End.  Nowadays, it still hosts Yorkshire home games, when they are not at Headingly, and has previously hosted England One Day Internationals versus New Zealand and The West Indies, albeit back in the 1970’s. The record attendance here is 22,946 when Yorkshire hosted Derbyshire in 1947.

After a little over 4 hours here, it was time for a late lunch, before heading off for my evening football fix in County Durham. Yorkshire had batted all day and were just over 50 runs short of Durhams total as I headed for the exit.

Leigh Centurions v Salford Red Devils

Rugby Football League

Super League

Friday 21st July 2017

Kick Off 20.00 Actual 20.03

Leigh Centurions 25 Salford Red Devils 0,  attendance 7,002

@ Leigh Sports Village Stadium

Sale Way

Leigh

Greater Manchester

WN7 4GX

£20 Admission

£3 Programme, 84 pages.

Leigh Sports Village Stadium was opened in late 2008 and has a capacity of just over 12,000. I had been here previously to watch football on 21st April 2009 ( Leigh Genesis 2 Bradford Park Avenue 1, attendance 301, Northern Premier League, Premier Division). Genesis played here until they folded in 2011.

I had seen Leigh play at their former home, Hilton Park, back on 18th March 1990, in a Division 1 match versus Widnes, where they drew 20-20 in front of a 4,848 crowd.

Tonights game had a very unexpected result as bottom of the table beat 4th place in the final regular season match before the play offs.  It was 18-0 at halftime and incredibly it took 35 minutes of the second half to add to the scoring when Leigh kicked a drop goal. Shortly afterwards they scored a breakaway try, which was converted, to complete the scoring. More importantly, it lifted them off the bottom of the table, replaced by Widnes Vikings.

Leigh are yet another club who vastly add numbers to make it look like they are well supported, as there looked to be fewer than 5,000 present, despite the total they announced.

The Open Golf Championship

The 146th Open Golf Championship

Day 2

Friday 21st July 2017

Tee Off 06.35

@ Royal Birkdale Golf Club

Waterloo Road

Southport

PR8 2LX

£80 Admission

£15 Park & Ride

£10 Programme * (didn’t bother at that price)

*Free guide and tee times available, plus free course maps.

Birkdale Golf Club was founded in 1889 and was awarded ‘Royal’ status in 1951. Birkdale was nominated as the venue for the 1940 Open Championship, but this was cancelled due to the outbreak of WW2 in 1939. The Open Championship was finally staged here in 1954 and this year is the tenth time it has hosted it. The Curtis Cup, Walker Cup, Women’s British Open and the Ryder Cup have also been held here.

The previous Open Championship winners here are Peter Thompson (twice), Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Ian Baker-Finch, Mark O’Meara and Padraig Harrington. The latter two were playing today.

Today consisted of 52 games, each having 3 players. The first group set off at 06.35, with the last trio heading out at 16.16. We saw parts of 20/52 games. Having arrived on the course at 07.00, expecting to get an absolute soaking, if the totally wrong BBC weather forecast was to believed, we made it through until 1605 before the rain arrived, but we had planned to head off around that time anyway. By the time we were driving away from the course, the rain was absolutely hammering down.

Golf isn’t really the best sport to watch ‘live’ and there is no atmosphere whatsoever out on the course. Rather like Formula 1, it is best watched on television from the comfort of your armchair.

Despite not being a big golf fan, at least of the 60 players we saw in action, I had actually heard of quite a few of them. Recognising any of them in the street however………….

Ernie Els, Martin Kaymer, Zach Zohnson, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar, Paul Lawrie, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Francesco Molinari, Marc Leishman, Bubba Watson, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose were the ones I knew of in advance.

Swinton Lions v Dewsbury Rams

Rugby Football League

National Championship

Sunday 16th July 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.03

Swinton Lions 20 Dewsbury Rams 42,  attendance 1,002

@ Sale R.U.F.C.

Heywood Road

M33 3WB

£17 Admission

£3 Programme, 32 pages.

Swinton have been playing their home matches here at Sale R.U.F.C. since 2016. The stadium opened in 1905 and following the move of Swinton here, a new General Safety Certificate was required, resulting in the 5,400 capacity being reduced to the current 3,387.

This now takes the number of home venues I have seen Swinton play at to six, having previously seen them at Station Road (12.1.92), Gigg Lane, Bury FC (15.11.92), Edge Hall Road, Orrell RUFC (9.6.00), Moor Lane, Salford City FC (8.9.02) and Park Lane, Sedgley Park RUFC(1.2.04).

The game itself was a relegation battle, as second bottom hosted fourth bottom. Despite getting the first try, Swinton went in at the break 14-24 down. Dewsbury went over to increase their lead to 14-30, before Swinton converted a try of their own to stay in it at 20-30, but the comeback was short lived as Dewsbury added two more converted tries.

Dewsbury are now safe from the drop, and despite this defeat, Swinton could still overhaul third bottom Oldham, who are just one point above them, as they travel to bottom of the table Bradford Bulls in their final match.

North Wales Crusaders v South Wales Ironmen

Rugby Football League

National League 1

Sunday 25th June 2017

Kick Off 14.30 Actual 14.33

North Wales Crusaders 36 South Wales Ironmen 12,  attendance 462

@ Queensway Stadium

Queensway

Wrexham

LL13 8UH

£10 Admission

£2.50 Programme, 30 pages.

This was pretty dire and what you would expect from 4th bottom v 2nd bottom. Ironmen were surprisingly ahead 0-6, pegged back to 6-6, but went in at halftime 6-12 up. In the second half they were absolutely rubbish and never looked remotely like adding any further points.

Queensway Stadium is about as bad a venue you could possibly visit as a spectator. Perhaps that is a factor in why they get such poor crowds, as despite what they claim, the attendance was little more than 300. Both sections of seats are at least 50 yards from the pitch and viewing is also across three jumping pits as well as the running track. There is a small section of open seating on the far side, but they are no longer usable !

I had previously been here for football, on January 28th 2006, when I saw Queens Park 1 Ruthin Town 0 in the Cymru Alliance.

Oldham v Dewsbury Rams

Rugby Football League

National Championship

Wednesday 21st June 2017

Kick Off 20.00. On Time !

Oldham 16 Dewsbury Rams 20,   attendance 575

@ Stalybridge Celtic F.C.

Bower Fold

Mottram Road

Stalybridge

SK15 2RT

£15 Admission

£2.50 Programme* From original game that was postponed on 5th March, with a new wrap around cover. Didn’t bother buying something three and a half months out of date !

Bower Fold has been home to Stalybridge Celtic F.C. since 1909 and hosted games in the Football League for two seasons when Celtic were members of the newly formed Third Division North in 1921. I had previously been here to watch football (Stalybridge Celtic 1 Tranmere Rovers 0, Pre Season Friendly) on 11th August 1990, but the ground has undergone a complete transformation since then, including replacing the old wooden main stand. Current capacity is 6,500, of which 1,200 is seated. There was a ‘one off’ Rugby League Challenge Cup tie played here in the 90’s, but it didn’t host rugby league regularly until Oldham moved here in 2016. This now takes the number of venues I have seen Oldham play home matches at to eight, following Watersheddings, Hyde United FC, Oldham Athletic FC, Ashton United FC, Blackpool FC, Whitebank Stadium and Manchester Regional Athletics Arena.

This was 9th v 11th and a vital must win game for both teams. Oldham led 6-0, were pegged back to 6-6, then went in front again to go in at halftime 12-6 up. Dewsbury levelled at 12-12, before two penalties had Oldham back in front at 16-12. In stoppage time, which was mainly due to an Oldham player injury, Dewsbury converted a try under the posts to nick it, before adding a penalty on the final hooter to seal the win.

York City Knights v Whitehaven

Rugby Football League

National League 1

Sunday 18th June 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.02

York City Knights 16 Whitehaven 18,  attendance 1,084

@ York City F.C.

Bootham Crescent

York

YO30 7AQ

£15 Admission

£2 Programme, 16 pages.

Bootham Crescent is due to become housing, with a move to the brand new Community Stadium rumoured to take place some time next year, although I am not too sure just how far the new stadium has been developed, if at all, so it may survive a little longer. It has been home to York City F.C. since 1932 and the York City Knights since 2016, after they lost their own ground, Huntington Stadium, a couple of years earlier.

Capacity here is 8,256, which is some way short of the record attendance for the ground, when 28,123 witnessed York City versus Huddersfield Town, in an F.A. Cup match in 1938.

I had visited Bootham Crescent previously, for York City 1 Torquay United 1, in a Division 4 match, on 4th November 1989 (attendance 2,496) and had been to the Knights former home, Huntington Stadium, on 17th November 1991, where I saw Ryedale-York 6 Sheffield Eagles 13, in a Regal Trophy 1st Round match.

Today was 4th v 3rd, and was in the balance right to the final minute. York went up 4-0, but Whitehaven edged in front to lead 4-6 at the break. Two converted tries looked to have sealed it for the visitors as they went 4-18 up, but York converted two of their own tries, the first as good as you would see at any level, to pull it back to 16-18. In stoppage time, York missed three penalties, all from inside the Whitehaven half, and all within the width of the posts, which could have seen them get a deserved draw.

East Leeds v Leigh East

Rugby League

National Conference League

RFL Conference Challenge Trophy

Saturday 17th June 2017

Kick Off 14.30 Actual 14.33

East Leeds 18 Leigh East 14,  attendance 86

@ Easy Road

Leeds

LS9 8QS

£2 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

These two are both in the NCL Division 2, with the league positions being 1st v 9th. This was a much improved performance by the visitors, as the league match here had finished 36-6.

Leeds went ahead 6-0, but Leigh levelled it up at 6-6 at halftime. Two converted tries put Leeds back ahead at 18-6, but Leigh came back with two tries of their own, but crucially, neither were converted.

Doncaster v Barrow Raiders

Rugby Football League

League 1

Sunday 11th June 2017

Kick Off 15.00 Actual 15.01

Doncaster 24 Barrow Raiders 24,  attendance 563

@ Keepmoat Athletics Stadium

Stadium Way

Lakeside

Doncaster

DN4 5JW

£15 Admission

£2 Programme, 36 pages.

Team Sheet, free.

This was 4th v 2nd, although both dropped a place following this draw. Barrow went 0-10 ahead, reduced to 6-10, but they were further ahead, 6-16 at the break. When they stretched their lead to 12-24, it looked all over, but Doncaster went over for two tries, missing one conversion, to pull it back to 22-24 with a minute left, or so we thought.  Fifteen minutes into stoppage time Doncaster kicked a penalty to level it up.

With Keepmoat Stadium undergoing pitch work, it meant this game, plus the next home one, are being played on the Athletics Stadium next door, and another game being played at Featherstone Rovers.

This is the fourth home venue I have now seen Doncaster play on, following Tattersfield (10.1.93), Belle Vue (14.5.00) and Keepmoat Stadium (11.2.07). Oddly, I have seen Doncaster play seven times now, with three of the games finishing as draws. Apart from today, I saw them draw two away games, both 10-10, versus Trafford Borough (2.12.90) and Keighley Cougars (13.10.91).

South Wales Ironmen v Toronto Wolfpack

Rugby Football League

League 1

Saturday 10th June 2017

Kick Off 17.00 Actual 17.02

South Wales Ironmen 0 Toronto Wolfpack 66,  attendance 325 

@ Merthyr R.U.F.C.

The Wern Sports Park

Cae’r Wern

Ynysfach

Merthyr Tydfil

CF48 1AD

£10 Admission

Programme, free, available on-line only, 22 Pages.

This was always going to be a huge away win. It was just a case of by how many. Strong defence saw the Ironmen (re-branded from last season as South Wales Scorpions) hold out for 17 minutes and the score at halftime was only 0-24. Toronto are strolling towards the title, having won every game so far and four teams have been beaten by bigger margins than today, including a 70-2 thrashing of second in the table Barrow Raiders !

With the squad assembled by the Canadians, for this level, it is hard to see them failing to go through the season without a 100% winning record. Most of the squad have played at Championship level or above, with seven of the team signing from Leigh Centurions, the best known being Fuifui Moimoi, who has represented both Tonga and New Zealand, as well as playing 14 seasons in the Australian NRL for Parramatta Eels.

All week, the Ironmen website was stressing how well tickets were selling and how booking on-line would avoid queues on the day…….a pathetic crowd in reality,( have not seen their official attendance for today, although as their result page has not been updated for a month, it may never appear) even allowing for the fact that it rained non-stop from around 2 o’clock on onwards.

The Wern Sports Park was opened in 1958 and has a capacity of 4,500.