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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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