Having thoroughly enjoyed 2 days of cricket Good Friday brought a local derby between London Skolars and Hemel Stags.

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The weather was back to yuk having had a touch of Spring; Skolars are my closest rugby team round about 45 minutes away with a good run.

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That consist of the A12,M25, A406 with a smidgeon of A10 added in at the end. As usual there was glass in the 2 inside lanes of the M25 – I know I keep saying it – but……. grrrrrrrr!  You are allowed to change lanes!

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Luckily most of the traffic was heading North on the A12 – it meant my journey was a good one, I’d left home a little later than planned but arrived with 25 minutes to spare.

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The New River Stadium facilities are still ‘under’ construction – which means no indoor facilities on the site of the ground.  I used the ladies toilet when I arrived – then made sure I didn’t drink too much!

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With no way to get into the seats from inside the entrance is from the front – for some strange reason loads of non-playing players were lining up just inside – it felt like a guard of honour!

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The club are managing to lay on keg beer – I must ask the price next time!  And a few soft drinks – but still no hot drinks which is my preference.

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Skolars v Stags games tend to be lively affairs, this first Kingstone Press League 1 game of the season saw Jermaine Coleman, previously Assistant Coach at Hemel, taking his new role of Head Coach at Skolars.  I wondered if that fact would give extra bite.

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I really won’t go into the game too much here as I’m going to write a match report for In The Loose – but a quick summary.

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 The last game I saw Skolars play they lost by a mere 82 points – I was hoping for something different for this game.  Although I was fairly ambivalent about the result – I have a season ticket for both teams. But I’d decided I’d support the home team when they play each other.

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The game was fairly even for the first quarter, but Stags looked the more cohesive team throughout.

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One feature was the number of spilled balls – both teams lost possession and territory time and again.

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The teams went in at half time with the scores on Skolars 6 Stags 12 leaving the 2nd 40 with everything to play for.

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Hemel Stags were clear winners of the 2nd half adding a further 4 tries to the 2 they scored in the 1st half.  Skolars scored a 2nd try.

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The final result was London Skolars 12 Hemel Stags 34 – It has to be said a couple of the Stags 4 pointers were shout out loud exciting!  Things look bright for them.

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As far as Skolars are concerned this was a much better showing – they played with spirit, hopefully we won’t be seeing any more 84 point losses.

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As far as I know there isn’t an option to stay on after the game – which is a shame it;s always nice to chat about the game.  So a prompt exit to head home.

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A couple of ‘stats’

  • Best moment of the game – Mo Agoro scored 2 tries – his second was superb!  A chip over by Charlie Lawrence landed in Agoro’s hands as he was rushing through, he stormed up the pitch to score a great try!
  • Nicest moment of the day – The benefits of small clubs is that you get to know people – great to chat to fellow fans.
  • Ladies Toilets – well, there is one – not too much to say about that!

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The journey home was in pouring rain but a good one – oh and there was still glass on the M25!

PS, an update! James Welham tells me the Real Ale was £3 a pint! Good value if you like that sort of thing! 😃

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