Before anything else I will indulge myself in the afterglow of our win at Batley last Saturday.
Many years ago when I joined the Dewsbury & Batley Referees Society a wise old sage uttered the words ‘In Rugby League there is no such thing as a friendly!’
The thing about last weekend is that the game was shrouded by trepidation even if nobody was prepared to admit it.
None of the players had taken a big hit for a year. Neither had they been exposed to the mental & physical demands of a game day.
Remarkably there were no points scored in the final twenty minutes of the game – that final quarter is often when the defensive floodgates open as mind & body suffers fatigue. So in the unique circumstances surrounding last weekend that is incredible particularly as the Rams suffered a late sin binning.
The Rams kicking game was like a well oiled machine as our first two tries came from kicks.
It was great to see Tom Garrett back – The League Express newspaper made him their man of the match, and of course the winning points came from a Paul Sykes touchline conversion.
We move on to the upcoming weekend and a trip to Super League side Wakefield Trinity.
This is a significant game for Trinity as it will be their only pre season game.
Chris Chester has made it clear that his players will be playing for their places on Super League opening day at Headingley when Trinity take on Leeds Rhinos.
Wakefield have not been permanent members of the top flight – They spent several seasons in the old Northern Ford Premiership and were regular opponents of the Rams.
That all changed on a highly charged night at the then Mcalpine Stadium in Huddersfield when they gained a narrow win against neighbours Featherstone Rovers in a NFP Grand final that was not without controversy.
There have been some classic Dewsbury v Wakefield encounters over many decades but one from around 1970 is deeply rooted in my memory. It was an early season encounter played on a pleasant autumn evening & along with a few school pals.
I travelled on the service bus to Wakefield. As we all lived in the area stretching from Saville Town to Thornhill we took a bus down to Horbury Bridge and then got a connection to Wakefield. It was after we got on our second bus that we encountered some cocky Trinity fans of the same age who told us in no uncertain terms that Trinity were going to smash Dewsbury.
We proceeded to Belle Vue and took up our place on the open terrace behind the goalposts. The game that followed will live with me forever – Dewsbury held a narrow lead throughout the game but spent what seemed like the entire second half defending their line.
I have no idea how our heroes kept it up as Wakefield had constant possession just yards from our line. When the referee blew the final whistle the joy was why we all love sport.
Against all logic we had beaten Trinity by 10 points to seven. I couldn’t wait for us to see those Wakey kids on the bus home – Sadly they were nowhere to be seen !
Another memorable game against them was a Challenge Cup tie at Crown Flatt in the early seventies – About 1400 crammed into our beloved old ground on a sunday afternoon. The ground crackled with the sort of tension & atmosphere that only the Challenge Cup could provide in that era.
Dewsbury came out victorious – We had some great cup runs in that golden decade.
Many players have turned out for both clubs over the years and no doubt that will continue.
Sadly the Rams faithful will not be able to enjoy a day out in the merrie city but look at the Rams website for details of how to watch the game on Trinity TV.
It is a 13.30 hrs kick off on Sunday.