Saturday, 11 March 2017

Inverleith Park

Edinburgh Northern 10-5 Lismore

11th March 2017

Edinburgh Northern RFC are, from a Work point of view, I suppose, my local team.  They play their home matches a mere ten-minute wander from my place of employment, and on my occasional (these days, very occasional) lunchtime meanderings, I would from time to time come across their impressively post-match ploughed-up playing surface in the otherwise generally well-groomed Inverleith Park. 

I have long felt I really should get along and lend my support at least once a year.  Hence this afternoon's visit, after finishing work at 1PM.

Northern, I noted, were this afternoon, taking on Lismore - a club from the south of the city – in what was billed as a BT East Region League 2b match.  Which was fine, until rooting out the current league table positions, I was faced with the following odd statement on the website:  

Points totals are a composite of points gained in East League 2 added to points gained in East League 2b. Wins, losses and draws do not necessarily correlate to the totals displayed in this league table 

What on earth did that mean?  Accessing the League 2 table I found both clubs nestling in mid-table positions, and yet in the League 2b table, Northern were some 15 points clear of second place Lismore.  All very strange.  

However, it soon became apparent what had happened was that once all the clubs in League 2  had played each other once, the top six clubs had splintered off to form League 2a, with the remainder making up League 2b – these sides facing each other once more.   Was there a trophy of some sorts on offer for the League 2b winners, I wondered?.

Edinburgh Northern RFC Club House.

I have no idea who Sheila and Robbie were, but I was extremely grateful for this seat -
the only one in the park facing the rugby pitch.

I noted today was the anniversary of Sheila's passing - the reason for the little bunch of daffs, I assume.

Edinburgh Northern's ground is nicknamed "The Bunker"
Not hard to see why.

There appeared, judging from the expletive-laden pre-match pep-talk being given by the home captain, some degree of bad blood between the two clubs, with “Fooking Revenge” mentioned at least twice.  Once the swearing ceased, and the rugby commenced, there appeared to be little to chose between the sides, as evidenced by the 0-0 half-time scoreline.  Although, to be fair, much of the match thus far had been played inside the visitors' 22.

The opening score finally arrived perhaps ten minutes after the break, deservedly for the home lot, as their forwards heaved the ball over the Lismore line.  A second try soon followed, as a Northern penalty attempt scuffed the outside of an upright, and was subsequently fumbled forward by a Lismore defender into the surprised (and not a little delighted) arms of an advancing home player, who touched down with ease.

This could have deflated the visitors, but instead they appeared to up a gear, and it became the homesters turn to find themselves penned back.  Lismore ran in a try with around 10 minutes remaining, but never seriously looked like adding to their tally for all their possession.  In the dying minutes, a slick, flowing move out to their right wing ended with a handling error, and the match was lost.

“Fooking Revenge” for Northern, right enough.

Edinburgh Northern v Lismore - March 2017

You get a better class of spectator at Edinburgh Northern RFC.

When I helped to run a Junior football club back in the day, we regularly forgot our linesman's flag.
The Northern committee can have no excuses here, as this was a home match.
Perhaps this chap used to be a traffic policeman.

Opening try.

Edinburgh Northern v Lismore - March 2017.


Panorama of Edinburgh Northern's ground at Inverleith Park.

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