Dave’s Diary

One video clip of a Sedgley try has gone viral. Playing Hoppers here, at Park Lane, we were awarded a penalty a few metres from their line. Players stood around while the ball was dinked into touch for an attacking line-out. That’s what we all thought, anyway.
I was on the opposite side of the pitch, and I moved to get an angle for a photo of the line-out and, hopefully, of the try which followed it. Too late! One of our forwards (Ben Black) intercepted the kick and strolled over the line, while the Preston lads had their backs turned.
There was some comment that the move was illegal. I think not. If you indicate you are kicking for goal, you must do so. Players often point to the touchline to tell the ref they are not going for goal. I don’t think it would be illegal even to take a tap, after doing this, but in this case it was kicked towards touch anyway; merely that a player intercepted it before it got there.
Was it planned, or off the cuff? I don’t know, but Ionians might not be turning their backs today!
I watched my first Colts game of the season, when our U17s played Preston Grasshoppers the following day. We played some good rugby at times against moderate opposition, to win 67-14. After three games, we top the early-season table. I look forward to seeing the lads in a sterner test later on.
Last Sunday our Colts teams were in County Cup action, both teams winning away from home, the Seniors 17-0 at Eccles, and the Juniors 71-14 at Bolton. Round 2 is on October 23rd, no news of any draw at the time of writing.
It is sad to hear about the struggles of Wasps RFC. Back in 1982, when we were celebrating our 50th anniversary, we played them at their (then) Sudbury headquarters, having watched England at Twickenham the day before. They treated us well and respectfully, and the Wasps XV included Nick Stringer who had been on the bench for England. They fielded a team of just the right standard to play, and beat, a junior club.
My chief memory is of Reg Evans, who was acting as sponge man that day, running on the pitch to tend to a fallen comrade. “Recommend an oil change, Reg,” shouted someone. Bob Sharpe, It must have been. Reg, of course, was motor mechanic to most of the club members.
The clubs crossed swords again in the John Player Cup of 1999. We had had a memorable win down at Blackheath – that Paul Morris try! – and Wasps at home was our reward. I believe we lost money on the day, but it was a wonderful occasion. Wasps sneaked it, 53-3.
The old ground at Sudbury was similar in facilities to our Park Lane today, but all a bit run down and scruffy. Wasps moved to various football stadiums in the London area, then in 2014 most controversially to Coventry. Fans were no longer a consideration. This was business. Now it’s failed business. Very sad for a great old club.
Alarm bells should be ringing regarding two clubs in the leagues that feed our National 2 North. In the Regional 1 North West, Kirkby Lonsdale have already conceded 342 points in 4 matches, with only 29 points in the ‘for’ column.
Over in the North East, West Bridgford are in a similar plight, with 52 points for and 284 against. Last Saturday they were beaten 100-12 at Driffield. This cannot be good for the game. John Inverdale’s smooth and plausible justification for the structural reorganisation: for the good of the players, to make the game more enjoyable, etc. Theory and reality, a mile apart; they do not match up at all.
There is also the question of why a weak East Midland club is in a North league anyway. They are going to have to travel to Alnwick (on Feb 18th, if they’re still alive), which is a long way to go from Nottingham for an inevitable hiding.