The Dentist’s Diary – 554th

FIRSTLY …..what a wonderful performance that was!!!

On Friday night I was proud to be there, even in defeat. In fact, in hindsight it was a game that we should all have been remembering for years and one that we might well have been talking about in the pubs and clubs for generations to come, because that’s how good 12-man Hull FC were and how close we came to a famous victory. However, as the mists of time gather around the 2017 season, I don’t now expect it will be that memorable at all really, because even after circumstances saw us fall just short of a historic win, as usual we left the match talking about just one thing; an uninspiring display by the official. AND this one really was uninspiring!

Whilst we should all have been marvelling about that wonderful Fonua try, when a brilliant pass back from Connor saw our winger run over the opposition to score, or another wonderful and at times mesmerising showing from Albert Kelly, instead once again it was same old, same old as we walked home. After the farce of Ellis’s sin binning and suspension and Burrows thuggery at Leeds last week, which very likely robbed us of two points, it was business as usual on Friday as we were once again robbed of a win by ineptitude and a referee that completely lost control of the game and the players. It’s not about the big decisions but everything that goes on in the tackle and on the floor and with the niggle and leg lifting all of which he ignored completely. Mr Hicks was, in that first half, reduced to ‘ad hoc’, ‘on the hoof’ decision making and appeared at times to be just making it up as he went along.

When back home in the cold light of your own easy chair you watch it back and listen to the platitudes of Cummings and Co always defending the referee whatever he does, you realise that the heat of the moment and the reality of watching it all unfold in real time at the Stadium, does make you a tad biased. However, there was still so much going on in the contact and on the floor and off the ball that the referee either ignored or blatantly misinterpreted that it was at times nothing short of a travesty.

Seldom have I seen such an animated crowd and rarely has the support at the KCOM been more vociferous and passionate and in turn I think that was all instrumental in our magnificent fight back in that second half. Get that response every week and it really would be fortress KCOM, but sadly it was all ignited in the first place, not by that gargantuan effort, the sheer will to hang in the game or our lad’s obvious passion and wanting, but by frustration at the total ineptitude of the officials. It was something that resounded around the Stadium both on and off the field; Mr Hicks lost control and Tomkins took over, oh boy, what a bloody mess our great game is in!

It has been a weekend in which I’ve got the most correspondence I think I have ever received and that was augmented by people stopping me time and again to discuss what happened last Friday night at the KCOM. In the pub afterwards I was quite rightly taken to task for declaring, “I don’t think the powers that be want us at Old Trafford”. But I was bloody fuming and of course that pretty irrational comment was borne out of sheer frustration and disappointment.

Nonetheless, I wasn’t on my own, because my pal Kathy even declared that “If Childs or Hicks are refereeing on Thursday I’m not going!” That sentiment was echoed by my friend Harry Pearson who I saw in Beverley market on Saturday morning when he just shouted, “That’s it I’ve had rugby league for this season” Then I bumped into my pal Steve B. who stopped me in Marks and Spencer’s. He’s a member of the FC Business Club and as such had gathered together 7 pals to accompany him to the game, afterwards they all talked about next Thursday, (which let’s face it is the biggest league game thus far for Hull FC) and it appears he will be going on his own, not because of anything to do with the team, but rather because of his pal’s disillusionment after what has gone on in the last two games. We tend to think that when people say that fans are leaving the game, because of poor officiating, they are exaggerating, but there in just three examples is proof that folks have had enough.

This game was always going to be really tough without suspect officiating. Firstly, there was Wigan on a roll, still wounded after Wembley, and hitting form at just the right time after getting key players back from injury. They in turn were facing a Hull FC that was down on form, low on luck (and fit three-quarters), lacking a head coach for most of the week and suffering from two suspensions to key players, which we gained last week at Leeds. As I say; it was always going to be tough!

I had done the maths as well as I could beforehand and yet couldn’t really decide if a Wakey win or a Saints victory the night before suited us best. However, in the end Saints squeezed home and thus we stayed in the top four whatever happened…..for now at least!

I have said in here over and over again, that anything else this season is, after Wembley, a bonus, and yet, although I said it wouldn’t happen I have to admit to fretting a bit last week, because when I looked at the two sides that faced each other at the KCOM on Friday and then at the official in charge, there was simply no way I could see us winning. However, if it had been a hard week for this fan, my shortcomings paled into insignificance compared with those that Lee Radford had endured.

First it was injuries, then suspensions and then just as it couldn’t get any worse, it was a shocking bout of food poisoning, contracted on a night out, that saw our Coach laid low all week. Step forward that affable and thoroughly nice guy Andy Last, to take the helm. After officiating, in the absence of Lee, at the presentation of the Player of the Year Award on Wednesday, the likeable Andy commented, “I don’t know if I’ll be in charge for the game itself but if I am, I don’t have a very good record; it’s played one lost one!” Great I thought, that’s all the encouragement I need, as I slipped further into a state of anxious unease, to await the big game.

Of course I needn’t have worried because despite the fact we had a second row forward in the centre, Captain Fantastic and Steve Michaels sat in the stand, Green out with the aftermath of his appendicitis and Fetuli still obviously not fit, Radford was back and it was a phenomenal performance from a team that was reduced to 12 men with still an hour of the game to go. There was also talk of at least two other players playing patched up, so all in all we were struggling, but boy did we give it everything and everyone in that 17 left nothing out there on the field at all, everyone gave their absolute all and as fans we can ask no more.

It was a performance to be proud of and one that I was honoured to witness, but having decided before I went that I wasn’t going to let the officiating get to me, I soon reneged on that pledge as another dodgy performance by a referee unfolded in front of me. What exactly happened at half time I don’t know, but after a first half showing that was totally abysmal and one that had everyone on their feet chanting about the perceived masturbatory habits of the official as he left the field, in the second half, as Wigan got on top he disappeared altogether. Before returning with a vengeance at the end to award 4 straight sets to the opposition on the Hull line, when the Pies were trailing by two points.

A cynical looking Wigan led by ‘man on a mission’ Mcllorum (who set out to niggle, irritate and intimidate the FC players from his first tackle where he forced Watts head into the ground) just wanted to get at us from the off and at times looked to have every intention of spoiling their way through the game. We were no angels either, but as the chaos escalated and Mr Hicks completely lost control, our players got more and more frustrated and Wigan’s plan worked when the officials, desperate to appear to still have some semblance of control snapped and sent Watts off.

It was an unfortunate incident that saw, what was by then a manic Mcllorum fly out of the line and get his trajectory in the tackle and thus his head, in completely the wrong position. He’s proved time and again to be a bit of a cheap shot agent and as such came flying out of the line intent on one thing; battering Watts. So intent in fact, that he got his positioning and technique absolutely wrong! Watts changed the ball to the other hand and, as you can’t just stand there with your arms in the air and say ‘Hit me’ he puts his arm in the fend position to meet the impact.

Mini ran himself to an absolute standstill what a guy he is!

But no one be they a Hull fan or a neutral, can disagree with the fact that the official then just lost the plot altogether. Griffin is penalised early and put on report for coming in behind the tackled player, Wigan then do exactly the same, in a carbon copy of the incident and nothing happens. Tomkins is interfering every time he’s in the tackle and the officials just ignore it. Years ago in the sixties and seventies at the Boulevard heaven knows what would have happened, but a players walk off and fans clambering over the fences on the half time hooter to ‘have a word’ with the ref, wouldn’t have been out of the question.

Thankfully things are more civilised these days, but rarely have I seen a crowd who were to a person so irate, animated and infuriated by an official. It all started early doors and from then on it descended into something that fluctuated between chaos and pure farce as rather like a pantomime villain, Mr Hicks was ‘booed and hissed’ every time he entered the drama. After four or five baffling decisions he’d had it and even his correct calls lost credibility as the crowd simply went berserk.

Watching it again for me the official wasn’t even looking at the initial contact in the Watts incident and was given instruction through his ear piece. Video Referee Bentham apparently called it for ‘dangerous contact & carelessness’ by Watts. Once again as so often happens in such incidents the apparent severity of the injury clouded the judgement of the officials and so cue red card and an avalanche of ex-players, officials and fans from across the game crying foul and condemning the actions of the man in black on social media. Even Phil ‘I love Wigan’ Clarke and ex referee Richard Silverwood said it was wrong!

The gist of the social media response indicated that about 95% of those entering into the debate thought that Mcllorum just launched himself, got it all wrong and came off second best and in such circumstances only he himself can take responsibility for his technique. My view? Well if that was genuinely a red card offence then as far as I’m concerned the game is finished as a contact sport, as tackling and running into defending players may as well be outlawed.

If that incident saw the game explode, the symptoms had been festering from the first set onwards with some awful decisions littering the whole of the first half. After that Hicks was more anonymous, but I have still rarely seen a pass more forward than the one that led to that try on our left in the second half, but we battled and battled and every one of the 17 Hull heroes out there played magnificently, gave their all and came within a whisker of pulling off what would have been an historic and much deserved victory.

That performance is I guess what we should focus on but it’s hard, even 48 hours after the game, to not feel cheated. Wigan came with a game plan to mix it and the official just allowed it to boil over early on before losing all control completely. When he called Danny Houghton over and said, “Get your players to just accept my decisions” it said it all really, his credibility was shot on and off the field of play and he’d lost the plot.

We had 8 home grown players and 14 Englishmen in that team and from Shaul at the back to Masi on the bench, every one of the FC players was a hero and played a brilliant game. Bowden, Masi and Fash stood up brilliantly when they came on and Manu was absolutely massive. Avoiding the ‘nudie run’ with his first touch-down of the season, he really lived up to his recently acquired title of Player of the Year, whilst Albert Kelly also stood out, set up three second half tries and showed how much he richly deserved the accolades he’d also received this week. I liked Connor as well and his passes for both Fonua’s tries were brilliant.

Taylor was nothing short of a warrior all night and Watts before he was sent off showed a glimpse of things to come as he started at loose forward. But in many ways its wrong to pick anyone out for special mention, because they were all real ‘supermen’ and they must have been devastated when they saw their efforts fall at the last hurdle, shattered on the rocks of poor officiating, fatigue, and frustration.

The talking and rhetoric will go on, but what’s done is done and as Mr Hicks sails off into the sunset whistling away to himself, we have to try to somehow pick up the pieces and make sure we get something out of Thursday, because it’s win or bust now and no mistake!

Straight after the match Diary reader Richard sent me this pic with the single line message, ‘I suppose we could always watch Union’ seems its not only Mr McIlorum who has got his head in the wrong position in the ‘tackle’?

Now, a few observations on this week’s Hull FC Player of the Year Awards and firstly well done to the Club for hiring the biggest and perhaps most prestigious venues in the City, the City Hall, for the ceremony last Wednesday. It’s a great location for such events and positions the Club at the top of the game, (watch out for it being used again in December, for a more light-hearted function). However, it’s great that James Clark has got the staff aiming high to position the club at the top end of business in the city, because such events in such venues, really do cement the Club status as being right up there with the best.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and so it’s nice to report that no doubt there will have been a lot of upset Dobbins on Thursday morning, when they read the papers concerning those same awards and the haul of accolades and trophies amassed by one Albert Kelly. What a night it was for our stand-off, although I expect Radio Humberside was switched off ‘on masse’ across East Hull, as the winners were announced the following morning.

‘Our Alberts’ about as popular as the DHSS at Caravan Park, in fact when he popped along to see what things were like playing in the second tier of the British competition the other week, he was greeted by, chants of “Chuck him out” (expletives omitted) from the ‘Cognoscenti’ in the East Stand. However, true to form that whole situation descended into farce at half time, when instead of continued protestations, Albert was faced with a mass of eager fans queuing for autographs and selfies. Such are the vagaries of our neighbours over there in the twilight zone. I put it down to a low retention span myself!

Still it’s an amazing renaissance from a player who was last year at this time suspended by the Dobbins and banned from Caravan Park, after being branded ‘Totally unaccountable’ and someone who had “Let everyone at the Club down”. Now, just 12 months on, not only are the supporters of his new Club voting him ‘Player of the Year’, but so are his colleagues in the team he now plays for. Then to add to those two accolades and perhaps most gratifyingly, he follows in the footsteps of such luminaries as Richard Whiting and Feke Palieaaesina to be voted Community Clubman of the Year too. What a difference a year makes eh?

The Dobbins fans keep saying “Wait till the second year” and of course we will; with baited breath! However, there is little if anything to indicate that things will be much different, in that there is nothing whatsoever to show that he won’t continue on at the black and whites, as he has done this year. The fact that he has been cited for all the work he has done in schools ‘over and above’ the call of duty, shows just how much he has thrown himself into club life away from the field of play. In addition, when anyone is voted ‘Players Player of the Year, it is often accepted as the ultimate accolade for any clubman, as it is voted for by the recipient’s peers. To gain that in your first year as a member of a group of players that is so tight and together on and off the field is quite amazing, particularly for a player that arrived at the club with more baggage than British Airways.

What an amazing turn around that is and what a credit to Albert too. Three awards for a bloke who has obviously thrown himself into his role this year is amazing and all that after coming into the Club on a ‘one strike and you’re out’ contract and being paid a salary described to me by one Club official at the start of the season as, ‘A pittance’. I doubted the signing when it was announced but he’s certainly won me and thousands of FC fans over and he even signed up for another year when ‘Down Under’ was calling and did it hopefully on a bit more dosh!

He’s a player I don’t feature that much in here which is I guess a travesty really for we are at present watching a man who is a bit of an enigma and a real breath of fresh air as far the game is concerned. He’s a real ‘curates egg’ of a player who could I guess be said to have both the X and the ‘Why?’ factor.

As for the X bit well there are those darting runs, turns of pace and great off loads that put defences in two minds and then there’s those big hits in defence which he gets little credit for. Then there’s the ‘Why?’ because we have all questioned the blind alleys he runs down, the dropped balls, his mistake rate and the way he flits in and out of games. Of course on balance, there is so much more X than ‘Why?’, and no one really knows what to expect at any given time. That’s what makes Albo such a dangerous proposition for opponents, they just can’t prepare or practice to handle him, because no one knows what he is going to do next, even at times his colleagues. It may just be one of his moments of magic or madness that turns a match and in this dour, predictable and chess like game we all have to watch week in week out at present, he is an absolute revelation, the consummate ‘Maverick’ and a very skilful player to boot.

So, well done Albert and what a great example of how people can turn their lives and their reputation around you have provided for us all!

Of course the big Award of ‘Player of the Year’ went to Seke Manu and how richly he deserves that one! An uncompromising player, who takes no prisoners at all, Seke is certainly a very focussed individual who has settled down really well at the Club and is seen as the enforcer out there on the field when the going gets tough. He’s a gently spoken bloke as well, (if you can get him to talk much at all for he’s probably best described as a man of few words) and even his colleagues say that at times he’s scary and on occasions best left to himself. But when some might have expected the award to go to the more glamorous performers like Sneydy, Carlos, Kelly or even Mahe Fonua, who have all played massively instrumental roles in the season, it’s great to see the Coach, true to type and not swayed by the ‘star dust’ or the ‘hype’, giving it to the best trainer, best squad member and the most wholehearted ‘team player’. He’s certainly a scary bloke and even the players admit to being a bit wary of ‘The Silent Assassin’.

One even said to me this week that as Manu hadn’t scored a try (before this weekend) so far this year, he was a prime candidate for the annual ‘Nudie Run’ at the end of the season. When I asked if Seke would be doing it, should he not score by the end of the season, this player said, “Well I won’t be telling him”.

Well done to Lee for picking a big player in the team ethic department and to Seke himself as well, I’m certainly enjoying watching his uncompromising and ‘you get what it says on the tin’ attitude this year!

Finally, a special mention to the Clubman of the Year, Kerry Taylor, who has led her band of unsung heroes on the retail side of things to record sales in a merchandising operation that is being held up as an example of good practise across the game. It is when Club’s capitalise fully on their on-field success, off the field, that they truly move into the ‘great’ bracket and it’s good that the work Kerry has done in leading the retail team has been recognised. It’s not easy working on the counter, at the ‘coal face’ and it’s often a stressful job made worse because the retail operation is the only first-hand contact most fans have with the club. It’s a hard sector to head up as well, because your always under pressure and Clubs and their owners are always pushing for more and more profit from an income stream that’s success, none the less, is intrinsically linked to performance on the field. In the end however good the ‘kit’ is, your very much dependant on factors beyond your control. Well done Kerry; I’d have given all her staff a medal too!

May the Force be with Us!!!!
Dave Cooper sent me this great picture from the victory celebrations in Queen Victoria Square; no doubt one of the Humberside Polices Irregulars?

Over the years I have always been honest in here and in an attempt to say exactly what I’m thinking and however looney or unpalatable it has been, I have invariably told the truth about how I was feeling. Much at times I’ve done this to the amusement and even ridicule of the readers. However, continuing in that spirit, this week I’m going to tell you something now that has been bothering me personally for a while and that has come to a head big style over the last 10 days.

I love Hull FC, you all know that by now, but after 60 years of supporting them to the point of obsession, watching in excess of 1700 games and writing this drivel week in week out for almost 13 years (using enough words to write 4 Bibles) I’m sadly and unbelievably considering making a rather unpalatable decision. I’ll always love them, I’ll always support them, back to back Wembley wins has produced two of the greatest moments of my life and I’m still glowing with pride and the FC will be in the fore front of my mind until the day I die, but at present I am having a real conflict of conscience. You see as much as I love my club and love to see them play I don’t know if I can be bothered with the actual game of Rugby League next season. Friday night just about saw me off, but long before that I was finding what goes on in the game totally and utterly frustrating.

In almost three score years and ten I’ve been proud to live in this great country and I’ve done that, safe in the knowledge that I was inhabiting a fair, just and forthright society in which, above all things, the rule of law was paramount in upholding order whilst embracing the principle that whatever I was accused of, be it rightly or wrongly, I would always be deemed to be innocent until proven guilty. That principle runs through every strand of life in Great Britain except of course within the Rugby League where they just make the rules up as they go along and indeed force people to plead guilty to transgressions even when the accused believes he are innocent.

I know you’ll say “Wilf’s off again, he’s back on the soap box, I’ll skip the next bit”, but for me you know that lot at Redhall are just taking the micky and they are doing it at the long suffering supporters expense.

I’ve talked in here ad infinitum about the appalling standard of refereeing and about them tinkering about and ‘manicuring’ the fixture list to suit some clubs and in the process penalising others. I’ve droned on about a cock eyed structure designed completely to suit TV, teams who seem, because of their perceived ‘status in the game’, to be exempt from the rules on salary caps, an administration that openly talks of moving the Challenge Cup Final away from Wembley and more recently about moving Kick-off times so that it’s even harder for the loyal, hard-working travelling supporter to get across the country to attend away games on time.

Then I’ve had a go about Australian’s who are based and work in the Southern Hemisphere, being made England Coach at the expense of those in charge at Castleford, Leeds and indeed Hull who must be as good if not better coaches and British to boot!! So, on reflection I’m a real moaning old git aren’t I? (pauses for universal shouts of “Yes!!!”) But, for me this week’s happening’s at Redhall that surrounded Gareth Ellis’s sin binning and his subsequent charging just beggar belief; ‘innocent till proved guilty’ my arse!!!

Here we have a guy, hailed throughout the game as a great servant, a good sport and anything but a dirty player, who carries out a tackle (that you see appearing every 8 or 9 collisions in every game) that the referee ignores, until the video referee blows in his ear about “10 minutes” and as Cummins (who I’m sure at times the referees can hear) on the TV, dreams up some reason or other for the penalty, low and behold Gareth is off to cool his heels on the touchline. Then a player for the much more ‘popular and favored’ opposition actually head butts someone in an act that had it been perpetrated just 50 yards away in the street outside the ground, would be deemed to be common assault and does it in full view of the TV cameras and the video referee, the referee does nothing; no ten minutes, no whispers in his ear from on high, no nothing!!!

Then the drama moves onto the games disciplinary process where Gareth, (having pleaded his innocence all weekend and as such having been completely exonerated by all the newspapers, pundits and even a couple of the Sky commentators), is charged. Now Gareth might only have three games left to play in his career, but he knows as the Club did, that should he admit the charge and take the ridiculous ‘early plea’ he’d get one game, whilst the panel would undoubtedly give him two, (because that’s what they do), should he try to argue his case and plead not guilty. They won’t go against Mr. Cummings and the video referee will they? So a guy that everyone including himself thinks is innocent ends up pleading guilty to something he didn’t think he had done, to ensure he at least gets two more games in the black and white shirt before he retires. That whole system stinks really doesn’t it?

I just want to spend my time (in here) talking up the game and the athletes that play it, my great, great Club and the players that wear the irregular hooped shirts, but instead we all seem to come back time and again to off the field issues, the officials and the RL. And while we’re on the issues within the game, you know I’ve never somehow been a big fan of Dennis Betts. On occasions usually after we have beaten Widnes, he has been a bit too ‘sour grapy’ for me but last weekend after his side had beaten Leigh to strengthen their hopes of survival in Super League, he came out with quite a long diatribe about the state of the game which I have to say was interesting to read when he said,
“I’m not sure why this competition’s here,” said Betts, “Leigh need time and when we came up we were given three years. Leigh and Widnes are two really good clubs who deserve to be in Super League and yet they are stymied by the system and you can’t recruit, you can’t get sponsorship, you’re struggling to get players out there because of how hard the season has been. We’ve put ourselves in a situation where the game’s not strong enough to take it. We haven’t got enough teams to create one competition let alone three. You’ve got to look at the sides in the Championship and what they’re doing. Do Featherstone want to be a Super League side? Are Halifax able to? Can London? Definitely Hull KR can and Leigh have shown they’re a Super League side”.

He continued, “Give Leigh a license for three years and tell them to develop all the kids playing rugby around there. You can invest in that. Are we really developing the game? No, we’re not enhancing the game at all. I haven’t seen a good game in this competition. I’ve seen some hair-raising games and some jeopardy and people a bit fearful. But I haven’t seen a good game at all. People seem to like it because the X-factor mentality seems to rule the world. Everyone wants to see who dies – not who lives.”

The Coach of a struggling side, sour grapes perhaps? Well, then two days later in chimed Daryl Powell who said despite the new system benefiting his Club tremendously, “Castleford have enjoyed great success under the current system but if I’m asked about would I keep the current structure, the answer would be no I wouldn’t. I think we’ve got to be careful because we are messing with the structure too much and we’re losing a bit of history. I think that you’ve got to be careful not to mess around with your structure too much and that’s why I think in Australia they’ve had pretty much the same structure for a long, long time and thus they’ve got a depth of history”.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions from what Mr. Betts and Mr. Powell said, but their words do resonate a bit with me and as I said in here back in September 2014 “We live in a world that is obsessed with people pushing their noses against the window to watch excitedly as others fail and glorifying in it when they do so, Rugby League is a proud, proud Sport and not a soap opera!” The middle eights are less about celebrating the teams that do well and more about sensationalizing those that don’t, especially if their failings lead to a sensational relegation. It’s all about jeopardy, no sorry let me get it right, because with gates proving that the current system certainly isn’t capturing the imagination of the attending fan, it’s all about TV and that ill thought out, long term broadcast deal.

The sight of this in Beverley Markey Place on Saturday certainly perked me up a bit!

Now the other day while I was out delivering books I bumped into Mike Ullyott the eminent local writer, who penned such classics as Old Faithful (With Bill Dalton), the definitive history book of Hull FC; to date. He’s a proper author and doesn’t write books ‘like what I wrote’ and it was good to see him and to also chat to Iain, Mike Spoad, Jim Cressey, Billy Windley and Harry O at the game on Friday. How good it was too to see Club Chaplain Tony Cotson back at the KCOM and looking great after his rather serious surgery! Well done Tony! Thanks as well to everyone for their support and for ensuring that 360 copies of ‘The Year of the Airliebird’ have now been sold with over £2000 of your money donated to the Danny Houghton Testimonial fund. Please keep spreading the word!

Danny’s Testimonial is going really well and the events keep coming as his (completely sold out) corporate Golf Day takes place this week. I’ll be announcing another massive concert that everyone can get involved with at Christmas in the next week or two as well.

The beer is doing well isn’t it? That’s apparent here as a couple of readers Adam and Uppo (Jnr) go to prove. Despite the fact that, like me, they’ll drink anything, they both said it tasted great! It’s in loads of pubs now and should soon be out in bottles and with a donation from every keg sold going to Danny, why not partake of a pint if you get the chance!

Whilst we are on the notice board bit Steve Roberts was in touch this weekend again to remind me to mention the event he is promoting in South Cave at the Bear Public House on Wednesday (13th September) from 7-00pm onwards. I featured it in here two weeks ago and you’ll remember that Sammy Lloyd raconteur, entrepreneur and famous wannabee rock star, is doing his epic walk across the Wolds this week and he’ll be there in South Cave with his Uke and a big Ukelele band, to meet everyone, have a chat and sing a few songs. The Challenge Cup will be there too, so you’ll be able to grab a picture with that as well. It should be a great night so get there if you can.

So, there we are and in a busy week when I have been a bit down and, as you can perhaps tell, a bit too reactionary about the bad things about our game, there is no space for a Codgers Corner but I’ll ensure that it’s back next week! This week we move onto Wakey at the KCOM on Thursday and another ‘Cup Final’ for our team. I hope the players get over last Friday better than I have, although with Lee and Andy at the helm I’m sure they will. However, the ‘Trin’ will be no push overs and its going to be a massive game for all of us.

I apologise this week because after months of trying and trying to ignore the crass state of the games officiating and to attempt to concentrate on the good things about our Club, this week I’ve simply imploded and descended to new depths of despair. I simply couldn’t credit what happened at Leeds and equally I just couldn’t believe what I as watching on the field or the reaction it engendered from the terraces on Friday. Still tomorrows another day and Thursday another match, who knows what both will bring? Thanks for sticking with another Diary and try to keep believing, however hard it is at times to do it!

See you all on Thursday!


Faithfully Yours