From The Touchline – Sat 8th Feb

Welcome everyone today to a wet Crowtrees. We are all asking when this rain is going to go away but at least we in the North East have been spared the battering the rest of the country has been having.

Our guests today are the famous Richmond Club and we wish all their representatives , supporters and players, a warm welcome, in particular their President Nick Preston, a former England International Centre.

By now all teams are used to playing on “soft” ground and have adapted their games accordingly, but we haven’t  quite reached an 8 man game yet, and I am sure that as ever, today’s game will be an exciting spectacle to watch.

Last week we had our game postponed at a soaking Cinderford and hope to go there in two weeks time. Richmond had a very creditable home 25 -10 win over Henley which continues their improvement in form from a difficult 1st half of the Season. They have however already beaten Hull Ionians, Blackheath and Tynedale away from home, so today’s game will be as tough as ever.

The fight against relegation is clearly going to go down to the wire with Tynedale and now Blackheath putting in excellent wins against Fylde and Rosslyn Park respectively . Realistically any team in the bottom half of this league could go down which makes for excitement each week to see the results.

You will all join me in congratulating our trio of England Counties players, Chris Wearmouth, Robbie Kalbraier, and Gavin Jones who had the honour of representing England Counties against France Federale at Nevers , France on 31st January in a game won by the French 16-15. It is again a great achievement for the Club and chosen players. The next England Counties game is on Friday 21st February at Mowden Park versus Ireland and hopefully many of you will be in attendance to support our chosen players and the England Team.

We also welcome back today our old friends from Glasgow Academy and their Headmaster Tony Brooke. They have again brought a Team to play our Youth and we trust they will again enjoy their stay and the International on TV later.

Next week we leave for Henley on the Friday evening .  Any additional supporters wishing to go should speak with either myself or Hedley Redpath as soon as possible.

Have a good day

Bill Locke