Another break in the 6 Nations schedule meant a break in my gallivanting but not a break in watching sport!  With London Skolars playing Swinton Lions at The New River Stadium in the Challenge Cup a trip to my nearest team was a plan!



Now rugby league is these days meant to be a summer game, of course with the season starting in February there’s a fair level of cold weather rugby watching.  However it was a glorious Spring like day.



The journey was a smooth one,: with Chelmsford appearing to be one big car park I took an alternative route involving not a mile of the M25, which was really quite nice! I’ll be taking that route again!



I arrived in plenty of time and was grateful that the weather was so lovely as the ‘indoors’ facility at the stadium is being refurbished so completely inaccessible.  I can see that could be a problem during the season.  But with decent weather and 2 real ales on offer the crowd seemed content.



I had a diet coke and a Mars bar – yep that chocolate weakness and sat down to enjoy the game.



All I can say is that I’m very glad I can watch a game and enjoy good play whoever it comes from, you can see I’m posting more photos than I usually do, you’ll see why as you read on.



Swinton Lions are a team I’ve never seen play before, but I have to say in spite of what was a shall we say difficult score for London Skolars I enjoyed the way they played.



It may sound an odd thing to say, but Swinton played to their strength when it came to the size of their players.



An odd thing to say because I’d say on the whole they’re a smaller team than many, they have a fair few very fast, very mobile players, and they certainly capitalised on that fact.  Scoring try after try.



It got to the stage where it was hard to keep track – the score was London Skolars 4 Swinton Lions 46 by half time!  Will Lovell scoring the only points for the home team.



I typed as I was watching Skolars being torn apart – Greater speed and agility is winning the day.   That continued throughout the match.  as Swinton built what could have been a cricket score!



The 2nd half proved to be as painful for the home fans as the 1st as Swinton added a further 40 points to take the final score to London Skolars 4 Swinton Lions 86!



A Huge scoreline!  Several players shone of the visitors with at least one hat trick by Rhodri Lloyd. Star of the show was however Chris Atkin who I believe broke the club record of the highest number of points scored in a game for Swinton.  His personal tally was 44 and he had a hand in several tries.



My afternoon was brightened by a quick chat and a hug from Dave Rotherham the Swinton coach.  He’s clearly doing a great job with what is mostly a young team, although one Stuart Littler shone as well.



I had a date with a friend, video and fish and chips so didn’t linger,just a few facts

  • Cost of Ticket          £10.00
  • Diet Coke                 £  1.50
  • Mars Bar                 £   1.00
  • Ladies toilets – porta loos – I didn’t use them, but was told they were quite fine.
  • Safety – it’s a ground I know well, I parked in the road rather than the car park – safety is never an issue

I was too preoccupied to check the price of the beer – but I do believe  decent pint of real ale is generally on offer at a Skolars game.  I had a good journey home followed by a girly night in watching a very odd film – The Budapest Hotel – odd but good!

I wish Swinton Lions the best of luck with the rest of the season and look forward to watching an improved London Skolars

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