The good old days

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WE play Whitehaven at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday in the first round of the Championship One Promotion Play-Offs.

Whoever loses knows that their season is over and that will make for a cracking game. Whitehaven are a very good side, well coached by David Seeds, who is doing a great job up there.

We have played them twice, both winning one game apiece.

We lost up at the Recreation Ground earlier in the season but gained our revenge last month when we staged a grandstand finish to claim a 20-18 win in what was a great game.

But Sunday’s game will be the most important of the three.

We finished in fifth place, just one point behind third-placed Workington and Whitehaven finished sixth, giving us home advantage. All you can ask for in play-off rugby is to be at home and we will be looking to make home advantage count.

I’d like to say to say ‘well done on a great season’ to the lads. We have made some really good progress this year so thank you all. I’d also like to thank the back room staff for all their hard work over the season.

I’d like to thank the supporters for sticking with us and it was good to see so many of you at Gateshead on Sunday. It was like a home match and it was appreciated by Tony Miller and all the lads. I really feel the club, players and fans are all getting back together like the good old days.

After the game on Sunday, we will be holding a supporters’ meeting in the restaurant where chairman (John Scarrow) will give a brief review of the season and speak about where we are as a club. I hope as many of you can attend as possible.

I would like to congratulate Commonwealth and European bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell for successfully defending both titles and adding the British title after beating the previously unbeaten Stuart Hall at The Dome on Sky Sports on Saturday. This kid is something special and the whole of the town should be proud of him.

On a sadder note, I lost a very good ‘island’ brother of mine in Dana Wilson who played for Swinton this year. He tragically died in a motor accident on Sunday morning, He was one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet.