Hello good people. Can you believe it, game 15 already. Today we welcome the good people of Old Pockletown, which according to Google, is a whole 54.4 miles away. A warm welcome to everyone who has chanced their arm down the a64 or other highway to be with us today.
Here’s hoping for an enjoyable afternoon on and off the pitch and as ever, may the better team win.
You don’t need me to point out that we seem to have added another bucket of lubricant to the old greasy pole since last we met and salvation from the dreaded trap door remains a remote possibility...but we fight on. We have eight games left to leap frog the Pythons and Old Rish.
Those of you with a keen eye will have already spotted we have four at home and four way fixtures left on the ledger, with our next two being here at the Hive.
There are forty league points on offer in those eight league games, in order to get over the Pythons and Rish, in my humble or even humbler opinion, we obviously need to accrue at least 20 points from these remaining fixtures, unless both sides above us have a complete collapse and don’t get any accrue very many more. I will let you get your biro working on where our points might come from.
To help in your rumination, I can confirm that the remaining eight fixtures for the Harrogate Montys include four games at home on the bounce, which from our perspective is not a good thing.
For those of you who haven’t noticed, we have improved our pre-match lunch offering and today, (at the time of writing) we have 52 booked in for today.
If you would like to join in the fun for next Saturday against Wetherby, please contact Erica Baker or Nick Patterson. The cost is £15 a head.
On Saturday 2nd March, Pretz is again organising his Old Farts reunion, and he is your man for that lunch. I believe he will be in the clubhouse this afternoon , so please grab him by the lapels to book your spot. I believe that lunch will be £20 a head.
If you don’t require lunch, please remember and spread the word that entry to all our games is free. And please bring yourself along.
I haven’t done much of a feature on “this day in history” for a while, so in looking through the good book of the Wiki, the first thing that jumped out at me was that on this day in 1606, the trial of Guy Fawkes began.
I had a sudden moment where I remembered Guy Fawkes had some connection to Pocklington, which would have given me a couple of paragraphs to witter on about, but nay! He has absolutely no connection to the town of Pock. As some might say. Bugger.
The good old Wiki did give me a couple of minor fascinating facts about Pocklington. The first relates to everybody’s favourite book, the Domesday Book. Apparently, by the time of pulling together the good book, Pocklington was the second biggest settlement in Yorkshire. Second only to York. I think only West Leeds of the teams we face this season are not featured in the Domesday Book. And Leos, I suppose.
The second fascinating piece of nonsense was that Pocklington was at the centre of the Parisi tribe during the Iron Age. I was hoping this might give some tenuous connection to the Italian Number Eight, Sergio, but he is a Parisse not a Parisi.
Moving back to the Egg chasing...I had begun to believe certain things in this league were a given. Not least that Old Rish were done for and then they go
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Bees v Pocklington
and pull a fifty-pointer out of the bag last time out as they slapped Leo's legs quite hard in a 50-24 win.
Leos have now lost four on the bounce, but they remain a solid 20 points ahead of us, so there is little solace to be had there. Although we do have home and away fixtures to come against them...
We can hope some semblance of order is restored today as Old Rish faces Wetherby and them Python kids take on Salem. Obviously, under any normal circumstance, I would not be favouring Salem, but they could help us out a teensy bit by clobbering the Pythons today and wait until next week before they start on their usual mission to make sure they don’t get promoted.
Normally I would bracket the K-town in the “stay in Y1 gang”, and would say West Leeds and Wetherby will get promoted, but I think the mood on at Utley is a-changing and we might see K-town making that great leap this year. Salem, no. Can't see it. An unlucky ding off the crossbar and a heroic fourth-place finish is Salem’s ambition. I am sure of it.
As ever, I am writing this drivel before I have had sight of a team sheet. The only definite team news I can impart is that young Mr. Bryan is not available this week as he is on a plane to New Zealand, if not right now, in a couple of days. I am sure we all wish Sam the very best of luck on his 6-month jaunt to NZ.
I believe we will also be shorn of the services of Mr. Ben Hemsley this week as he serves his suspension after seeing red against Beverley. I think Ben only got two weeks on the naughty step, so should be back amongst it next week.
Obviously, we have already crossed swords with Pock this season over at their spot. We came second to the tune of 32-15. Our points that afternoon came from Jimmy Nicholas and Dom Walker getting over the whitewash and Bill Marshall adding a penalty and a conversion. Just to show I was paying attention that afternoon, the Bees lined up as follows:
1 Alex Leadbetter 2 Luke Spauls 3 Robbie Spencer 4 Corey Spencer 5 Sam Bryan 6 Dave Exley 7 Tom Dunn Birch 8 Jim Nicholas 9 Ben Hemsley 10 Dom
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Bees v Pocklington
Walker 11 Ryan Wilson 12 Ricky Palacio 13 Ben Bottomley 14 Luca DeVittoris 15 Will Marshall.
The Bench was 16 Dan Lightowler 17 Ali Macdonald 18 Aidan Hainsworth.
Around a year ago, in fact on 23rd January 2023, we faced Pock here at the Hive, and came away with a similar result, losing 17-35; we also lost by a not-dissimilar score over at Pock, losing 36-12. There seems to be a pattern emerging here!
The good folk of Pocklington will not take too much reminding that those 2 wins were a third of their total victories for the season as they joined us on the snake down from Regional 2 North East to good ole Yorkshire One.
So to finish off this week’s malarkey, I have found a couple more Brazilian Proverbs to enlighten us all after a difficult January.
If Marriage were a good thing, there would be no witnesses
Never poke a jaguar with a short stick.
Can't say fairer than that.