Northern premier League 2023/2024 Season

Saturday 11th Nov 2023

Harrogate Men's 1st XV


Blaydon RFC 1st XV

KO 2pm

Proudly Sponsored by...


Welcome to Harrogate Rugby Club...

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Rugby Fans,


A warm welcome to each and every one of you for this regional 1 North fixture between Harrogate and our esteemed guests, Blaydon Rugby Club.


Our history with Blaydon goes back over 100 years with our first game against them taking place in 1896. It’s a poignant reminder of the enduring legacy and tradition that has shaped both our clubs. The echoes of those early encounters resonate through the years, connecting us to a time when the passion for this game first took root in our communities.

However, today is not only about the fierce competition on the field but also about remembering and honoring the sacrifices made by the brave souls who fought for our freedom. On this Armistice Day, let us take a moment to reflect on the profound impact of those who gave their lives in service to our country. Their sacrifice reminds us of the values we hold dear across rugby.


I also need to extend my heartfelt thanks to Mike Cowling, our Commercial Chairman, and representative of Leeds Polytechnic Old Boys, for graciously sponsoring today’s game. Mike’s commitment to supporting our club and fostering a sense of community is commendable, and we are truly grateful for his dedication.


Enjoy the game, savor the camaraderie, and let the spirit of rugby unite us all.


Yours in Rugby,

Mark Garrett

Chairman, Harrogate RUFC     

Today's Special MC - Kevin Lynch

Today Harrogate Rugby Club are pleased to welcome Kevin Lynch as our Master of Ceremonies. Taking time off from his usual Saturday lunchtime speaking engagement at Sheffield United FC. Kevin has kindly agreed to join us today at Rudding Lane.


Former referee and football speaker Kevin Lynch worked in professional sports for more than thirty years, officiating at some of the most high profile and notorious matches of the 1990’s. Retiring in 2000 Lynch now works as an after dinner speaker, sharing stories of his time on the pitch, the famous names he has worked with the controversial calls he has made.

A special welcome to the Leeds Poly Old Boys and a big thank you to Commercial Chairman, Mike Cowling, for sponsoring today's game...

Harrogate RUFC v Blaydon RFC History

A Brief History of Blaydon RFC


Founded in 1888, the Blaydon club first played at Path Head on the outskirts of the town, but in 1892, it moved to the Blaydon Racecourse. Upon leaving the Racecourse after the First World War, the club moved to its present site “Crow Trees”at Swalwell and gradually, over the succeeding years, the ground has been developed to include its clubhouse, stand, and two sets of match floodlights.


Immediately after the Second World War in season 1945/46, Blaydon were unbeaten and boasted amongst their players Martin Donnelly who became Blaydon’s first International Player when he played for England against Ireland in 1947. He also represented New Zealand many times at cricket, being one of the most cultured left-handed batsmen of his era.


The move to Crow Trees was inspired by President Bob Williams and long-serving Secretary of 50 years, Jack Brooks. Since this move to Crow Trees, the club has improved in stature, becoming a recognised force in North East rugby. The expansion of the ground saw floodlights erected in 1968 which were opened by Border club Hawick in front of a record 3,500 spectators. 


During this period of improvement in Blaydon’s fortunes, many local players made their mark, amongst them, Stephen Bainbridge and Michael Skinner, who both played rugby many times for England. Other players who made notable contributions during this period were Bob Bartle, Russ Teasdale, Maurice Davidson, Michael Smith, Ian Parratt and the brothers Jim and David Knight to name but a few.


Blaydon won the Durham County Cup in 1996 when David Guthrie lifted the trophy after defeating Darlington 22 – 3 in the final. David was Captain of Blaydon for 15 seasons, a National League record and during his captaincy the club experienced a successful period in the League system being promoted four times. Blaydon RFC played in National Division 1 for 9 seasons, being relegated at the end of 2016/17 season.


Off the field, the club expanded and, on 19th October 1996, the newly refurbished clubhouse was opened by Messrs Bainbridge and Skinner. The total cost of the project was £1.2 million which was Lottery Grant aided. Blaydon’s playing record this season:

Blaydon 29-24 Pontefract

York 38-24 Blaydon

Blaydon 24-10 Alnwick

Blaydon 33-14 Cleckheaton

Doncaster Phoenix 35-22 Blaydon

Blaydon 30-25 Driffield

Heath 42-24 Blaydon

Blaydon 50-17 Ilkley 


Previous results for games between Harrogate and Pontefract

Blaydon (Founded 1888, colours: red with black trim – black with red trim)


8/4/1896 Harrogate FC 8 – 3 Blaydon


12/4/1909 HarrogateFC(won) v Blaydon


12/4/1980 Harrogate 31 – 10 Blaydon (First Blaydon fixture at Claro Road since 1896)


29/9/2018 Blaydon 42 – 36 Harrogate NPL


19/1/2019 Harrogate 24 – 13 Blaydon NPL


7/12/2019 Blaydon 8 – 12 Harrogate NPL


14/11/2020 Harrogate(Cancelled-Covid) Blaydon NL2N


18/9/2021 Harrogate 17 – 12 Blaydon NL2N 


15/1/2022Blaydon 12 – 29 Harrogate NL2N


10/12/2022HarrogateP – PBlaydon NL2N


4/2/2023Harrogate 43 – 0Blaydon NL2N


15/4/2023Blaydon 31 – 22 Harrogate NL2N

A proud sponsor for over 50 years

Team News...

Harrogate RUFC

15 – Rory Macnab

14 – Jack Haydock

13 – Richie Kaisia

12 – Tom Steene

11 – Ratu Katalau

10 – Oliver Toomey

9 – Pete Olley

1 – Jacob Percival

2 – Steve Maycock

3 – Barnaby Vaughan

4 – Will Pritchard

5 – Sam Brady (Capt)

6 – Martin Dodds

7 – Ben Richardson

8 – Will Hill


16 – Tomas Phipps
17 – Harry Butler

18 – Sam Fox

Blaydon RFC

15 – A. Mikles
14 – J. Appleton
13 – D. Marshall
12 – C. Coates
11 – L. Stamper
10 – N. Gough
9 – J. Clarkson
1 – D. Fearn
2 – K. Duffy
3 – A. Dodds
4 – D. Barry
5 – A. Turnbull
6 – O. Dynan
7 – C. Roy
8 – E. Clarke


16 – M. Winter

17 – S. Laidler

18 – S. Pentland

Today’s Referee:

Adam Robson – YRS

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Regional 1 North East Table

Today's League Games

Season 2023/24

2nd September (3 pm KO) – Driffield – Away – W (10 – 20)

9th September (3 pm KO) – Heath – Home – D (16 – 16)

16th September (3 pm KO) – Ilkley – Away – W (17 – 27)

23rd September (3 pm KO) – Alnwick – Away – (6 – 44)

30th September (3 pm KO) – Sandal – Home – (27 – 25)

14th October (2 pm KO) – Scunthorpe – Away – (7 – 37)

21st October (2 pm KO) – Pontefract – Home – (32 – 20)

4th November (2 pm KO) – York – Away – (28 – 22)

11th November (2 pm KO) – Blaydon – Home

18th November (2 pm KO) – Cleckheaton – Away

2nd Dec (2 pm KO) – Doncaster Phoenix – Home

9th December (2 pm KO) – Heath – Away

16th December – (2 pm KO) – Ilkley – Home

6th January (2 pm KO) – Alnwick – Home

13th January (2 pm KO) – Sandal – Home

27th January (2 pm KO) – Scunthorpe – Away

3rd February (2 pm KO) – Pontefract – Away

17th February (2 pm KO) – York – Home

2nd March (2 pm KO) – Blaydon – Away

16th March (2 pm KO) – Cleckheaton – Home

23rd March (2 pm KO) – Doncaster Pheonix – Away

6th April (3 pm KO) – Driffield – Away

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