Our visitors To Sandhill Lane today are Old Rishworthians and I would like to offer a warm welcome to all players, committee members and supporters who have made the trip over from the far flung reaches of West Yorkshire and hope that they return having felt that their journey has been worthwhile and enjoyable.
Rish’ find themselves in a position only too familiar to ourselves in recent years, in one of the relegation spots and looking up at the rest of Yorkshire 1. No doubt they will view the fixture as a possible win target and will be here to cause as many problems for our developing young side as they can. They sit at the very bottom of the table with 2 victories and 10 points from their 11 games, knowing that a bonus point victory could lift them out of the relegation spots if other results go in their favour. From Selby’s perspective we surely see this as a must win game and hope that the recent try scoring efforts against Brods, Moortown and Ponte can be taken one step further to ensure a 5 league point win. However I know that Rish’ will have completely different ideas and will be in no mood to allow us to roll them over without a fight.
It was somewhat of a relief last weekend to come away from Ponte with no further additions to our considerable injury list and to see Scott Hunt make a successful return after a considerable spell on the sidelines with back disc problems. I look forward to seeing other wounded warriors return over the coming weeks and hope that by the New Year we are almost back to full strength throughout the teams. One of our first team regulars who will unfortunately no longer be available to us after today’s game is Ashton Dallimore who is heading”Down Under” for a lengthy spell before deciding whether to return or not. Ashton will, of course, leave with the best wishes of all fellow first team players, the many friends he has made over the last couple of years and the Selby supporters who have enjoyed watching his development since he first broke into the First XV.
Today could well be the start of the Christmas celebrations here at Selby (Bah Humbug, it’s still best part of a month away!) as our Ladies gather for Lunch in the Clubhouse. I hope that Wendy has ordered plenty of Prosecco, stocked the shelves with a range of Gins and is able to offer the wide array of mixers that today’s ladies expect. Thanks go to Andrea Phillips for once again being the driving force behind the event and to everyone who helps to make it such a popular and successful event. I trust that the ladies will remain immaculate, both in appearance and behaviour and wish them all a very pleasant afternoon (they certainly deserve it for what they have to put up with!!).
As always with Christmas approaching, there are plenty of events to keep people busy and I would like to give another shout out for the President’s Charity Quiz which was organised for the first time last season and is due to return on Friday 7th December. All proceeds from the evening will be split between MacMillan Nurses and Breast Cancer Awareness and I hope that members from all parts of the Club will find the time to support this Major Fundraiser. In addition the ever popular Muffits Lunch is scheduled for the 15th and of course the Christmas Lunch on Sunday 23rd. Shortly thereafter we will be hosting our Exiles Fixture on Boxing Day, an event which has always been a personal favourite of mine in the Club’s Calendar, a chance to welcome back our youngsters returning from University and old friends who have found other reasons for moving away.
In conclusion, I would like to offer a gentle reminder to everybody taking part in or spectating this afternoon’s game to please show respect to the match officials, players from both sides and other spectators. There is nothing better than a hard fought game of Rugby played out in front of a knowledgeable and friendly crowd and we all have to play our part in ensuring that everybody here this afternoon can go home afterwards having enjoyed some great entertainment, whether a player, flag man, referee, water boy, allickadoo or a member of the paying public. We have a duty to all visitors to Sandhill Lane to ensure that their afternoon is not ruined by the actions of one or two individuals and that everybody adheres to the RFU Code of Conduct, so I would ask that everybody makes sure that they behave in a manner befitting our great game.