A very warm welcome to our guests from Luctonians Rugby Club today on what is no doubt not a very warm day.
It is their first visit to Blaydon having travelled up overnight from their base near Leominster in Herefordshire so they are our most southerly opposition this season. Whilst we lost there in a close fought game at the end of September we were royally treated to a fine well attended lunch and pre match entertainment. Whilst I like the sound of my own voice it was impossible to get a word in edgeways down there as they have so many outgoing individuals from their local rural surroundings in attendance. I gather that they are well supported by many of their followers whom I hope will find the delights of the North East to their liking this weekend.
They are struggling a bit in the League at present, as are we, and it is thus a very important game for both Clubs today.
We have had a difficult couple of weeks beaten at home by Macclesfield and last week away to Otley. However there is an excellent spirit in the camp and we remain a very dangerous side with the ball in hand.
Disappointingly we have lost our Captain, Keith Laughlin for many weeks now due to a bad shoulder injury incurred at Otley and Jack Davidson is also likely to be out for a while.
Rugby in the North East appears to be struggling at the moment with fewer playing members than I can ever remember and consequent regular cancellations of matches below 1st team level which is a frustration for those players wanting regular rugby. Unfortunately we are no different and the demise also seems to be spreading into our Juniors as well. There may be a number of reasons for this, and we all have our own theories, but a common thread is the reluctance of individuals to show any commitment to their own, or any other, Club. We are short of helpers and qualified coaches for Juniors, and of volunteers to help on match days. Jim Huxley has announced that he is stepping down as Secretary at the end of the Season although he will continue in his role as 1st team organiser/administrator. He will leave a big hole but it must be filled. I ask again that if anyone wants to commit a little time to some of his former duties on a sharing basis they will be most welcome. Please let Bruce Costello or Phil Partington know.
On a brighter note lets enjoy the game today and the attractive rugby that we continue to play