Dewsbury Celtic

Rugby League

National Conference League

Recently i have crossed codes and have had a dabble in Rugby League, so far so good.

Here are the grounds i have been to and photos from their grounds.
Admission has average £2.50- superb value.

To view all photos CLICK HERE

Dewsbury Celtic 48 v Eccles 28
high scoring game in a great location 

Normanton 48 Stanningley Leeds 12
Nicknamed The Graveyard !
a bumper crowd for an exciting game with 4 players sent off ! 

Underbank Huddersfield  Featherstone Lions 6
superb views over the Yorkshire countryside

 Lock Lane Castleford 18 Thatto Heath 16
feisty encounter with a sting in the tail

Wheldon Road home of Castleford Tigers
One of the great iconic stadiums in British sport - just wreaks of history
it is a MUST visit !

back to footy next week  !

Parkgate FC

25 July 2013

Pre Season Friendly
Parkgate (Rotherham)  2 
Belper Town 4
Gate: £3
Atten: 75

View all Photos from Parkgate

Parkgate F.C. are based in Parkgate, near Rotherham and is part of the impressive Roundwood Sports complex. Which includes perfectly manicured football pitches, golf course, bowls club and busy social club. 

Ground and Match Enjoyment: 7/10
A perfect summer's evening on an excellent pitch with two energetic teams producing six goals made this a most enjoyable visit. 

Parkgates second and Belpers third and fourth goals were superbly taken and of high quality.

The welcome given from the hosts was excellent. My only question was the location of the Tea Bar just to the side of the goal where many a stray shots have whistled by. You are not even safe at half time as the subs take their  aim. The only saving grace is the grill bar but as you leave the tea hut area one must still employ appropriate footwork skills just in case a leather missile makes contact.

An enjoyable evening at a relaxing venue with some super vistas over the  valley and beyond.

Harwich & Parkeston

20 July 2013

Harwich & Parkeston 0 
Clapton 0

Gate: £2 - fantastic bargain !
Atten: 74

 View all Photos from Harwich & Parkeston

A few years ago I was in Harwich on business and when I asked the hotel receptionist what the best thing about Harwich was , without even looking up from her What's On TV magazine she replied “the road out”. However after yesterday I think she was wrong, as the road in brings you to the Royal Oak , home of Harwich & Parkeston FC.

Formed in 1877, nicknamed “The Shrimpers” they reached their first ever cup final final loosing to today's opponents Clapton in the Essex Senior Cup.
One of their most proudest moments came in 1953 when they reached the
Amateur Cup Final in front of an audience of 100,00 against Pegasus at Wembley Stadium. Today they find themselves plying their trade in the Essex and Suffolk Borders League a far cry from the dizzy heights of Wembley finals, higher leagues, FA Cup runs and packed houses.

Last week I visted Whitstable Town aka “The Oyster men” today at Harwich , “The Shrimpers” so next week I will try to visit a club whose nickname is either The Lobsters ,The Crabs or The Malacostrac's basically another club of Crustacean influence perhaps ?

Today's opponents from the East End of London are Clapton FC who need no introduction, their history is equally as fascinating and can be read on the superb history website about The Old Spotted Dog.

Ground: 9/10
As you enter through the turnstile you enter a whole new world. Like a precious stone on a jewellers cloth a new 'gem' sparkling in the summer sunshine, unfolds before your very eyes.
The Imposing Main stand is simply superb. Showing more decay than in a dental practice , with its missing or broken seats, the bird droppings, the graffiti and greenery that would have Percy Thrower turning in his grave. You can not help but love this place and it is true what they say …. The Only Way is Essex , well it was for me yesterday.

Match Enjoyment: 7/10
Despite just being a friendly both teams were fully committed. It ended goal less but was enjoyable.
Missed penalties, good saves and decent shifts put in by both teams more than made up for the lack of goals.

Whitstable Town

13 July 2013

Bruce Smith Shield
Whitstable Town 1 v Herne Bay 1
Whitstable win on Pens

Gate: £8 (ouch!)
Atten: 255

View all photos from Whitstable Town
View official Website

Ground: 8/10
Located on the north coast of Kent , Whitstable is famous for its oysters, which have been collected in the area since at least Roman times. The town itself dates back to before the writing of the Domesday Book. Whitstable's distinctive character is popular with tourists, and its maritime heritage is celebrated with the annual oyster fesitival.

The Belmont Ground boasts a seated stand along one side as well as covered terracing behind each goal. Within the last ten years the dressing rooms and clubhouse have been completely refurbished, a new snack bar built and floodlights erected. Whitstable Town are the best supported Kent team in the Isthmian League South. Their major local rival is Herne Bay. When the two teams were most recently in the same league, their matches regularly attracted 400 or more fans. More recent matches against Margate in the FA Cup and Dover in the Isthmian League have attracted more that 1,000 supporters.

The ground is shoe horned behind the cricket club and if driving can be a little misleading for the first time visitor as the main car park is on the other side of the ground and not in Belmont Road itself.

Upon entry you immediately notice how well kept the ground is maintained. Obviously a lot of work has been put in behind the scenes of this well run set up.

The welcome by the Staff was as warm as the weather and could not be faulted. When asked any question the Oystermen Staff did not 'Clam' (if you will pardon the pun !) and were most helpful.

A very good programme was on offer which included all previous battles with Herne Bay as far back as 1948-49 season an impressive effort. My only gripe was the entry of £8 for a pre season friendly which i think a fiver is more than fair. It must be a Kent thing because i remember near neighbours Faversham pricing similar for a pre season bash against similar level opponents. But i understand the reasons behind it are to improve funding for the club for further progression and stability which is perfectly acceptable. They deserve it anyway for all the efforts made from the whole gang of volunteers. The Oyster people deserve a word of thanks in their 'shell' like.

The ground has a good feel about the place and was a very pleasant venue to spend an afternoon.

Match Enjoyment: 5/10
For a pre season friendly this was more spicy than usual at times, presumably due to the geographical locations of the participants. Which was good to see.
Herne , i feel had the better of the first half and the Oystermen had the best of the second half and a draw was the fair result.Whitstable won the penalty shoot with some well taken spot kicks.
Oyster men  celebrate with the Shield

My day was a frustrating one due to the heavy summer traffic and i had forgot my memory card for the camera so was handicapped from the off as i was not in my usual rhythm from the start. But never the less a ground i am pleased to have visited finally.

Whitstable Harbour - worth a visit

Atherstone Town

6 July 2013

Atherstone Town 0 Coleshill 3
Pre Season Friendly

Gate: £5
Atten: 75 

View all Photos from Atherstone Town

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. So my visit to the home of The 'Adders' was always going to be an interesting one especially as the lucky colours this year are red and black.By coincidence they are the teams colours. But more worryingly the most unlucky numbers will be #1 & #7....i would advise playing all the attacks down the left wing.Also, lets hope the Goalie does not drop a few clangers this season so they do not slip and slide down the league. Next year is the year of the horse lets hope by then things are more 'stable'.

Match Enjoyment: 3/10
The Adders lacked any 'venom' during the tropical heat in the first friendly of the new season. Coleshill from a lower league were too 'slippery' for their local rivals and for the Adders it will be best to 'viper' this performance from the memory.

Ground: 8/10
The first thing you notice upon arrival at the Sheepy Road Ground is what a great ground, far to good for their present level.
Today The Adders find themselves playing in the Midlands Combination Premier Division a far cry from the dizzy heights of yesteryear.
The end of the 1999-2000 season saw Atherstone relegated for the first ever time in their entire history. The situation at the club worsened and in September 2003 Atherstone United were put into liquidation. Again, against all the odds, a group of local supporters, lead by Graham Read, banded together and formed Atherstone Town. In their inaugural season (2004/2005), competing in the Midland Combination they won Division One and were subsequently promoted to the Premier Division.
The momentum continued and in the 2005/2006 season they won the Midland Combination Premier Division and were promoted to the Midland Alliance. This season also saw the Adders win the Midland Combination League Cup at the Hawthorne’s and the BCFA Midland Floodlit Cup.
In their first season in the Midland Alliance they finished eighth but in the following 2007/2008 season they won league and were promoted for third season in four but this time to the Southern League Midlands Division. In their first season back in this league they finished third behind Leamington and Nuneaton Town and reached the playoffs but only to lose to Chasetown. However, they did win the Southern League cup beating teams from all three divisions before mastering Bridgwater Town 5- 2 in a 2 leg final.

I could imagine what this ground would feel like when it is full. Under the superb floodlights against Birmingham or Villa in a cup match, what a brilliant occasion that would be. They are for the level they play at a well supported club. But more of the fans need to help out more, if anything just to keep the club alive and kicking.
In many respects the ground is well worth a visit and i enjoyed my time. Meeting up with fellow football friends on a lovely sunny day, relaxed atmosphere. A decent way to get back in the saddle.