Northern premier League 2023/2024 Season

Saturday 30th Sept 2023

Harrogate Men's 1st XV


Sandal RUFC 1st XV

KO 3pm

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Dear Friends, Supporters, and Rugby Fans,

It is with immense pleasure and pride that I extend to you a warm welcome to our beloved Rudding Lane for today’s eagerly anticipated home match featuring Harrogate RUFC against Sandal RUFC in this Regional North East 1 League fixture.

The story of this season is far from written but it is certainly shaping up to be one for the histroy books. After enduring the challenges of a brutal previous season that saw us relegated, the boys have demonstrated unwavering commitment, determination, and resilience to rise to the top of the table once more. The spirit of Harrogate is indomitable, and we are thrilled to be showcasing our newfound strength and unity week after week.

But today is not just about celebrating our rising fortunes; it’s also about honoring the legends who have given their all to the red and gold over the years. We are particularly proud to be awarding Martin Dodds with his 100th cap, a milestone he secured away at Ilkley. Martin’s contribution to the team, both on and off the field, exemplifies the values of our club. His dedication, leadership, and unwavering commitment to the cause have left an indelible mark on our club’s history.

As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, let us remember that Martin has secured his legacy not just on the pitch but also within the very fabric of our club. He will have a place on the pitch and at the bar for many years to come, a symbol of the enduring bond that ties us all together.

Our history with Sandal RUFC is one that spans back to 1933, an enduring rivalry that has witnessed countless memorable battles on the field. The camaraderie and competitive spirit between our two clubs are truly special. The last time these two titans of Yorkshire rugby clashed was in 2020, and today, we eagerly await another thrilling chapter in this storied history.

I must also take a moment to express how envious I am of Sandal’s incredible homegrown talent displayed in their team sheet today. A remarkable 13 out of the 18 players have come through their mini-junior section, a testament to the tireless work of their coaches, volunteers, and the unyielding dedication of these young players. They embody the heart and soul of their club, and it’s heartwarming to see them flourishing at this level.

To our loyal fans and supporters, your unwavering presence and passion are the lifeblood of Harrogate RUFC. Your cheers, chants, and encouragement from the sidelines resonate deeply with the boys and I hope this year we can make Rudding Lane a fortress by showing the same form today we have shown on the road.

To Sandal RUFC, we extend a hearty welcome. i belive today’s match will be a testament to the enduring respect between our clubs and a showcase of the best that rugby has to offer.

Enjoy the match, and may the best team prevail!

Yours in Rugby,

Mark Garrett
Chairman, Harrogate RUFC

Sandal RUFC v Harrogate RUFC History

A Brief History of Sandal RUFC
In June 1927 a former Wakefield RFC member, Mr Claude Beaumont, took up residence in Sandal and sought to found Sandal RUFC by arranging to meet local sportsmen in the Castle Inn to consider his proposal. This they did on 26th August 1927 and Sandal RUFC was born. They purchased their ground in 1931. In 1932/33 Sandal won the Yorkshire Shield beating Scarborough at Bridlington by 13-6. 1933/34 saw Sandal reaching the final of the Yorkshire Cup, accounting for Old Bradfordians, Baildon, Batley and Bradford, on the way to the final against Otley at Lidget Green, Bradford, when they lost 13-3. The Sandal wing threequarters for this game were Jack Holdsworth, later to become President of the Club in 1960 and Prince Alex Oblensky, the Oxford University and England International, who had just returned from a tour of Argentina with the British team. Unfortunately on 29th March 1940, aged 24, he was the first rugby international to be killed in the Second World War, losing his life in a bizarre training accident in his Hawker Hurricane, just outside Ipswich. In spite of having Oblensky in the Sandal XV the hosts lost nil-3.

At the end of the 1959/1960 season the Sandal 1st XV won through to the Yorkshire Cup final for the third time, only to be defeated this time by Old Crossleyans at Scatchard Lane, Morley by 9-3. In an attempt to attract better fixtures before the introduction of leagues, floodlights were erected and officially switched on by Don F. Stables on 23rd October 1985, prior to a game played against Harrogate RUFC to commemorate the occasion. Harrogate won 13 – 12. The eighties saw success throughout and with the introduction of leagues in 1987/88 Sandal RUFC was placed in Division 2 North alongside such clubs as Wilmslow, Halifax, Huddersfield, Lymm, Manchester and New Brighton. Sandal’s first league game was away to Wilmslow RUFC which saw the visitors leave with a win by 21-6. The side remained in Division 2 North for four years before securing promotion to Division 1 North at the end of the 1990/91 season.

Other milestones during this period saw two defeats in finals of the Yorkshire Cup Competition, against Wakefield in 1993/94 and then against Doncaster in 1998/99. But a victory in the same competition had been secured against Doncaster two years earlier in 1996/97. With professional rugby taking its toll on Club finances the managing Committee took the momentous decision, just after the millennium, to revert the Club back to having a totally amateur status. Whilst this was the correct decision it
meant that players were lost with the result that between 2002 and 2006 the Club was relegated three times from National 3 North, through North One and North 2 East to start season 2006/07 in Yorkshire One. The slide had to be addressed and to this end the Club appointed former Wakefield and Rotherham coach, Jim Kilfoyle, to take charge of rugby coaching at Sandal and with his involvement an improved playing record soon evolved.

Sandal were promoted twice between 2006 and 2010, from Yorkshire One to National 3 North for the start of the 2010/11 season, where the side remained for five seasons until gaining a further promotion to National 2 North for the 2015/16 season.

The latest and most recent success the Sandal Club has enjoyed was the winning of the Yorkshire Cup for the third time on 17th April 2019 with victory against Sheffield by 32-14 at Morley RFC. Sandal are currently 9th in the Regional 1 North East League. They lost 15 – 23 to Doncaster Phoenix, 31 – 36 to Driffield, 20 – 21 to Heath and won 25 – 19 against Ilkley. Harrogate top the league having defeated Driffield 20 – 10, drawn 16 – 16 with Heath, defeated Ilkley 27 – 17 and defeated Alnwick 44 – 6.

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Team News...

Harrogate RUFC

15 – Rory Macnab

14 – Orisi Katalau

13 – Conor MIller

12 – Richie Kaisia

11 – Jack Haydock

10 – Tom Steene

9 – Pete Olley

1 – Jacob Percival

2 – Steve Maycock

3 – Barnaby Vaughan

4 – Will Pritchard

5 – Sam Brady (capt)

6 – Guy Coser

7 – Martin Dodds

8 – Will Hill


16 – Josh Peace
17 – Tomas Phipps

18 – Sam Fox

Sandal RUFC

15 – T. Hodson

14 – J. Handley

13 – I. Shamchiyev

12 – D. Grainger

11 – D. Fawcett

10 – L. Adams

9 – C. Allen

1 – J. Holland

2 – E. Pitchford

3 – J. Bailey

4 – R. Travis-Carr

5 – A. Thompson

6 – J. Stewart (capt)

7 – W. Henshall

8 – D. Thompson


16 – C. Nyambega
17 – A. Milner

18 – M. Hanson

Today’s Referee:

Kristian Garland – 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

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

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

4th November (2 pm KO) – York – Away

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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