Saturday, 11 June 2016


11 JUNE 2016 --- 2.30PM
An amazing game of 10 tries with all converted, including half a dozen for Dragon's Adrian Mulcahy, went the way of the home side after a storming first half had seen them lead 24-6 at the break.  After the interval Oldham came back at the Wakefield based side with more determination and physical prowess and managed to secure a moral boosting second half 3 tries to 2 success.
Weather watch was in play at base again with heavy rain the proceeding evening making rugby league a must again today and after last weeks one sided game at Dewsbury Celtic we opted to visit Eastmoor Dragons a club who had come up on the radar many times but we had never quite made it too.  Strangely we had saved an easy visit for quite a while with just a short 15 minute walk from our summer departure point of Kirkgate station this is an easy ground to access.
Fellow traveller Mick has a Welsh cap, not in the international variety you see it was one he bought in a shop in Newtown Powys while it threw it down on a visit for a Welsh Premier League games last season and today was the chance for a re appearance of the 'Wakefield Brollies'.  So called after a mad dash to purchase some on a visit to Horbury a few weeks ago. Thankfully though although raining heavily upon departure by the time we travelled through Sheffield it had turned into a dry scene.
Early arrival just before mid day allowed us to walk out to Eastmoor a large council housing estate to the north east of Wakefield city centre and sitting adjacent to he local Pinderfields Hospital.  We called in for a Greggs delicacy before taking a little tour around the estate arriving at our destination of Eastmoor Dragons just after 1pm.  As ever rugby league clubs are a hive of activity with many teams gathering after their morning games and officials and early arrivals for the NCL game starting to come into the clubhouse too.  We had a quick tour of the ground and its well railed off with dug outs on opposite sides of the pitch, the pitch is floodlit and in an open park area although the ground is right by the side of the clubhouse which is an advantage.  Its quite difficult for the club to secure their pitch with the surrounding park area being open and this does give them a litter problem.
Back inside for a pint of pop and savoury snack while the ladies are stapling up todays programme which once again it has to be said is a sterling little effort, well done, we catch up with club Chairman Dave Roberts.
Mr Chairman clearly has a big enthusiasm for the Dragons and tells us about the kids rugby, Dragon Tots, right through the open age side to their Masters team.  The club house Dave tells us has had a refurbishment with painting, new carpet and seating upholstery and inside it is a smart affair.  It always seems difficult to the blog to keep clubs tidy because they are so well used and this is a credit to the rugby league clubs we visit.  We discuss the merits of summer rugby and many clubs still have doubts but like many clubs Eastmoor also operate a winter side in The Pennine League.  As ever the clubhouse has many fantastic historical pictures of past teams and Dave also talks proudly of the Lindops including of course Fred Rugby League referee who are all from Eastmoor.
Moving forward the club appears to have a good selection of teams and is in a healthy position and with future clubhouse developments in the offing things can only be on the up.  The club are also planning a sponsored rugby league game for The White Ribbon Campaign which will include players gaining enough sponsorship to play and then keep their special kit from the day.
Talking of kits I loved the Oldham St Annes kit which through the back of the number on the back of the shirt is the 'Saint' symbol reminiscent of Simon Templar from the famous TV programme.
Before the game it was good to catch up with a couple of hoppers including our friend from Ossett Town who we had seen last weekend and also today a Garforth fan whom I had met a few years ago at a local non league game.
Last week Eastmoor suffered a narrow defeat at home to Gateshead Storm and their seemed a determination about the club to put any wrongs right against todays visitors Oldham St Annes.
To the game and by half time the home side were certainly in the ascendancy leading by 24 to 6.

Dragons tries came from Joe Burns, Danny Johnson, Mulcahy and Jamie Creed with the visitors effort from Callum Cashin an early 9th minute effort that at the time levelled the scores.  As mentioned in the introduction Mulcahy converted all four for the home side, the latter on 33 minutes a superb kick off the left and Matt Whitehead added the 2 points to Cashin's effort.

After an energetic half time team talk for St Annes they came out with a real determination to get back into the game and pushed back Dragons getting a try within 5 minutes of the re start through Josh Denbeigh, Whitehead doing the necessary to make it 24-12.  A little against the run of play on 54 minutes the lead was extended when Kevin Brown went over for Mulcahy to convert.
The game fluctuated into alternate penalties Denbeigh again and then for the home side Kevin Brown before with 8 minutes left Whitehead went over between the sticks.  With Mulcahy and Whitehead converting we ran into the final stages at 36-24 and as the pressure mounted from Oldham the temperatures on and off the pitch gradually increased but just avoided boiling point as both sides supporters energetically urged their teams on.

When the referee blew his whistle for time at just after 4pm the score line remained the same and we hade seen a tremendous full on affair that both sides deserve credit for and once again left both Oldham and Eastmoor with plenty of creditable things to take from the game.
Todays referee Adam Gill, if the NCL website is correct, was one of the younger up and coming officials under observation and supervision by a senior colleague on the touchline something that the blog had not come across before.  Not easy to referee in any sport but we must try to encourage the new lads of course its not always easy in the middle of a game but without them the game will stop.  Overall he got around the pitch well and believe me I'm always happy to be the right side of the barrier its a tough game on the pitch.
An enjoyable game which was mainly spent on the touchline side with the Oldham supporters and an encouraging bunch they were too with a quick return the direct way to Kirkgate we managed to catch a delayed train at 4.30pm arriving back in base station just short of 5.30pm.

No comments:

Post a Comment