It is indeed a great pleasure to have with us today our friends from the Wirral as we greet the players, committee members and travelling supporters of Caldy, as we welcome one and all to Park Lane Whitefield.
Today is also our annual fund-raising day in aid of Bury Hospice, so we will be playing in a light blue and white strip. At present the dreaded weather men are predicting rain, rain, rain, but let’s hope things change!
As you are aware these guys were promoted back in Season 16/17 into National League One after finishing Champions. That season they only suffered two losses, and on both occasions, it was to Sedge. The opener was at Park Lane with a close home victory 16-13. We also pulled it off in the last game of the season coming home with a 34-35 score line following what was a great game of rugby. In their first season above they found their feet pretty quickly and finished in a creditable 12th position winning 12 games. Last season however, even though they won 11 games they got caught up in the relegation and finished 14th, coming down into National Two. It must be said though it is getting increasingly difficult for a Northern team to operate in what is now a predominantly Southern league!
It is strange but you could almost repeat the welcome to Caldy every year we have played them as we seem to be always in competition with our friends from the Wirral but this season they have taken it by storm and remain unbeaten having played 22 games. In terms of statistics they have played 22 and won 22, points for 823 and against 264, giving a difference of 559, and with 104 league points. Really well done to these boys, and it is not easy to stay so switched on game after game. This leaves Sedge battling it out with Fylde and Hinckley for that second play off place. Though it is a nine-point difference between ourselves and Fylde, we do have two games in hand to try and get something from, and they also have to visit Park Lane. In fact, we will need to win every game to hope to reach that second place as Hinckley are also a team in form at the moment.
Looking at the Tigers, we come into today also having played 21 games, won 15 and lost 6 and sit in 4th place with 74 points. Points for 559 and against 476, giving an 83 difference. Games this month have been a home win against Chester 27-14 and an away loss to Caldy over at Paton Field 32-11. Last weeks game against Loughborough Students was postponed in agreement by all parties, ourselves, Loughborough and a referee, taking into account the weather forecast and travel relating to Storm Dennis. In fact, the bad weather conditions did not really arrive until overnight, and though quite windy the game could have been played. Recent form for Caldy has been win, win, win, beating Otley 12-31 at Cross Green, ourselves at Paton Field, followed by last week’s away win at Fylde 7-15.
Back to today’s game, and if our day out at Paton Field a couple of weeks ago is anything to go by, it should be another great game of rugby, It was a very competitive game other than a fifteen minute spell when Tigers gave too many penalties away giving Caldy good field position. Let’s hope we can rectify that and have a more competitive result.
We sincerely hope that whatever the result today, whether you are in the sable, claret, gold & silver of Caldy or the light blue & white of Sedgley, have a great day and join us in the bar for the traditional pint and a few laughs before your safe journey home.
All the best.
Sedgley Park v Caldy
Chester v Scunthorpe
Caldy v Scunthorpe
Chester v Preston Grasshoppers
Hinckley v Wharfedale
Scunthorpe v Hinckley
Hull v Otley
Loughborough Students v Fylde
Luctonians v Sedgley Park
Sheffield tigers v Tynedale
Stourbridge v Huddersfield