2019/20 Season review
Following such a fantastic 2018/19 season the new campaign was always going to be a hard act to follow in such a competitive National Two North. Ultimately the season will be remembered for the Covid 19 world pandemic which would cut short the season with five games remaining. For some time rugby seemed insignificant as people suffered around the world from this dreadful virus which put everything in perspective. As the dust settles and we slowly begin to return to the ‘new norm’ it’s important to reflect on a season which has to be deemed a success with many highs and lows along the way.
The first half of the season we were unable to select from a fully fit squad and suffered with key players unavailable. Victories were hard to come by but when they did they were that much sweeter.
The opening day 22-22 stalemate at home to Hull was a sign of things to come as we managed an unprecedented four draws throughout the campaign. By comparison, it was a slow start to the season and we had to wait until match day five to get our first victory of the season at home to Scunthorpe. This was then followed with a ‘last play’ victory at Preston Grasshoppers as Kian Stewart raced away followed an interception inside our own 22m. A three game losing streak was brought to an end with a superb victory at home to a robust Stourbridge outfit. The following week we were the architects of our own downfall as we gifted Hinckley victory with the last play of the game. A harsh lesson in game management was taught that afternoon in Leicestershire.
Fantastic victories over top six clubs Sheffield Tigers, Loughborough Students and Fylde showed the capability of the squad. However, as we’ve seen so often momentum is key and we didn’t quite manage to string together the run of victories which ultimately would have taken us into the top half of National Two North once again.
In the week building up to the Tynedale game at home on the 14th March the Covid 19 Pandemic was beginning to gather momentum but nobody had an idea what was to follow in the proceeding months. It was muted that this could well be the final league game of the season. As it proved the excellent 31-15 victory was the key factor in keeping our status as a National Two North club. Some weeks later the RFU announced the final league standings would be calculated on a best playing record formula. This meant we would finish the league season in 12th position.
I would particularly like to thank all the committee members and volunteers for their commitment and support through out the season.
With the uncertainly still surrounding when the new season will begin the whole rugby community will no doubt be cautious but excited for the big return. I’m sure are all missing our ‘rugby fix’ and I look forward to seeing you all at Lockwood Park in the near future.