Sunday, 1 December 2013

Coalville RFC

Saturday 30th November 2013
Midlands 1 East
Memorial Ground, Hall Lane, Coalville, LE67 5PF

With no football games locally that grabbed my attention I decided to go and try my hand at rugby union photography for the first time. After checking the fixtures on the RFU's website I chose a game in Midlands 1 East, which is one of the regional leagues that sits at the sixth level of the game in England. Coalville are the only side from Leicestershire in this division, with the other thirteen teams are spread across five more counties. They are Derby, Ilkeston and Matlock (Derbyshire); Mansfield, Newark and Paviors (Nottinghamshire); Market Rasen & Louth (Lincolnshire); Bugbrooke, Kettering and Old Northamptonians (Northamptonshire) and Huntingdon & District, Peterborough and Peterborough Lions (Cambridgeshire). 

pitch side view of the clubhouse 
Coalville play their games at the Memorial Ground in Coalville itself and it is located down a driveway off Hall Lane. This opens up to a large car park, two storey clubhouse / changing room building and several rugby pitches. The main pitch nearest the clubhouse is floodlit, fully railed off with dugouts and a scoreboard on the far side. The clubhouse is located on the first floor and is impressive with both bar and kitchen facilities, and a large balcony gives a good view of the action happening on the pitch. There was no admission charge but a 12 page programme was on sale for £1 behind the bar.

On the pitch Coalville were at the wrong end of the table, recording just one win in their eleven league games with only Peterborough below them. Their visitors from Northampton are having a much better season and record eight victories from their eleven games and sat in 5th place. The game went to form with Old Northamptonians producing some impressive running rugby and had the game all but won in the opening twenty minutes, scoring four converted tries and ended the half with a twenty three point advantage (5-28). Following a sin bin for a Coalville player midway through the second half, ON's scored three more tries (two of which were converted) in the space of about ten minutes. The home side got the final score of the afternoon with a converted try late on. 

I went into this with a bit of uncertainty regarding how things would be off the field, but if I lived in Coalville then I could imagine myself being fairly regular at their home games with everyone friendly and welcoming. The game itself was fairly enjoyable for a neutral like myself and I got talking to the ON's photographer which helped pass the time. There is one thing that I find about rugby union tedious and that is the scrum, as it took every one several attempts for the players to get it correct in the referee's eyes. This could be due to new laws that have come into place. One thing that is guaranteed and that is I will be back to watch some more rugby union very soon, and will start looking at the fixtures later on in the week.

websites / social media:
Coalville RFC - official website
Old Northamptonians - official website - twitter

40 odd more photos of the game can be viewed in the slideshow below:

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