Game Day Blog.

 A periodic  blog, bit of chat based around a typical ‘game day’.

Number 8. A long time

Apologies for no updates in part due to Covid-19, however, rugby is back on the agenda starting with round 1 of the new women’s premiership  season sponsored by Allianz.  I wil be covering Harlequins Women, runners up in the 1st two premierships v DMP Sharks. Looking forward to being back at the stoop, the last time was Navy v RAF in the 2019 inter services championship, which regrettably was cancelled this year, again due to Covid-19. There is some inter service interest in this game as all 3 services are represented, Army Bethan Dainton, Navy Charlie Lewis and RAF by Amy Cockayne. Form points to a home win, we will see by 18.00 Saturday evening,

Number 7. A new decade

Been a while since I updated the blog. Christmas and the New Year are now distant memories. This week saw a visit to the south coast, Portsmouth for a Royal Navy Womens development fixture against Northamptonshire Police ladies.  A move to the 3G pitch across the road to HMS Temeraire from the USSG pitch which was suffering from the rain. An entertaining game which despite the 46-19 win for the navy, the game was a lot closer than the score line suggests. And it was dry !

Number 6. Rain Rain go away……….

Surprise surprise as Cilla used to say. And its still raining or at least it was on Saturday for the England Lacrosse Schools Cup held at the Army rugby stadium Aldershot. 8 of the best school sides battled the rain and each other over the course of the day. Lacrosse once you get your head around the rules is an excellent game to watch and even better to photograph, facial expressions rule the day with the imagery.

Inbetween  blog 5 & 6 more Army U23 rugby in the interservice championships bitterly cold but dry (for once!)

Number 5. Its still raining

A return of Friday night lights on behalf of Shiplake College but at a new venue this year, Maidenhead RFC played on their 4G pitch. Shiplake played St Bennedicts again this year and it was the visitors who took the spoils once more, and like Wednesday it rained and rained, stopped for a bit then carried on. Despite the adverse conditions both sides tried to make the best of the conditions and three good tries were scored 1 for Shiplake 2 for Bennys.  Its back with the Army U23 next and hoping for a dry fixture.

Number 4. Double Bubble November

Two games both with the military and both with the same outcome. The annual remembrance match at Bristol Bears Ashton gate stadium saw the UKAF side recently returned from the military world cup (IDRC) in Japan take on a R4H barbarians side who raced into a 26-0 lead only to loose in the last play of the game 26-29. Then a week later the opening round of the Inter service U23 Championship featuring the Royal Navy v The Army. The navy took the spoils 28-12. The same outcome ? Yes. I got soaked to the skin at both games, a deluge at both games.  The life of a sport photographer.

Number 3. Friday 18th October

A game under lights at Oxford Universities Iffley road ground saw an Army XV take on the dark blues. With both sides building to the Varsity Match and the 2020 interservices  a good competitive game was expected. With the varsity match about 7 weeks away Oxford were further down the road to a 1st XV. The Army with several 1st team players unavailable for selection, the Army were able to field players that the coaching set up were keen to see in a competitive match. Oxford proved to be the more cohesive on the night putting together a more polished performance , despite all the efforts of the Army the home team ran out 31-0 winners.

Number 2. Sunday 13th October

A spot of 7s today, sevens ! I hear you say. Well yes and no. I  have been working with UR7s academy for the past couple of seasons and today was the second regional (south) meeting/training of the ‘off’ season. Taking place at Hungerford RFC over 100 boys from the junior and senior academies were put through their paces by England 7s players.  This is common practise with UR7s each session has guest & former and current 7s players . Today was also Japan v Scotland in the RWC so an earlier than normal start so that the majority of the game could be watched prior to the 7s. What a game ! Japan deserved winners and Scotland home before the postcards……………

Number 1. Saturday 5th October

Today was a case of double bubble for 2 clients.  1st up was Berkhamsted sport and their Lacrosse 1st team away at Guildford High School.

An early start 6am from Somerset to Surrey to a venue that I have passed many times but never visited.  After touching base with the home teachers a short wait for ‘Berko’ to arrive.  The original plan was to get a team pic before the start but this was delayed until the game had finished. An explosive start by Berko saw them race into a decent lead only for GHS to level and take the lead themselves.  I have to admit to losing track of the scores but at the final whistle the celebration by Berko confirmed they had won. Short team talk was followed by the team pic, Berko were sporting a new strip. Photography wise lacrosse is always a challenge to photograph due to the speed of the ball, coupled with restrictions on non Berko players being in the images, which was a shame as some of those images were the best from the game.

A short hop from Guildford to Aldershot for the second commission of the day, I was working once more on behalf of Alligin Photography at the Army U23 v Oxford Uni ‘Greyhounds’

This was the first time an Army side was wearing shirts featuring their new sponsor Mitie. A positive start by the Army saw them take an early 3-0 lead, however the visitors took control of the game playing some great attacking rugby to run out 3-33 winners. It was a disappointing start for the Army in their build up to the Interservices U23 championship.

During the game I was transmitting live images to the Army Rugby Union for use on social media  directly from the camera, Canon 5D Mk4. A great piece of kit and saves having to put stuff through the laptop !