STEVE HOSSACK: Influential chairman a big noise in stands

John Ryan
John Ryan
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FRIDAY: MY decision to do a bit of work from home on my day off before playing golf proved to be a painful one.

My wife packed the golf equipment while I made a couple of calls.

When we got to course I discovered that she had packed the wrong golf shoes.

They proved so uncomfortable that I bought a new pair last year.

I had to wear the old shoes, which I should have thrown away, and hobbled around in pain for 14 holes before calling it a day.

SATURDAY: Rovers’ chairman John Ryan is not one to blow his own trumpet, but he had no reservations about blowing his own horn in the club’s home game against Watford.

Ryan had called for the club’s supporters to ‘raise the roof’ and to try and help them do that he, and several fellow directors, swapped their seats in the east stand to join the ‘barmy army’ at the back of the south stand.

Said Ryan: “Many chairmen just sit back and moan at the manager but I like to be hands on.

“We are all in it together and just because I’m chairman doesn’t mean that I’m not a fan.

“I was singing, as well as blowing my horn, throughout the game as were the people around me as well.

“Even when we went 1-0 down they were still behind the lads, which was great.

“I personally thought that we had done enough to win the game but luck wasn’t with us at the end when we had two or three shots blocked.”

Rovers’ defender Joe Mills said: “We were all a bit disappointed not to have won but we all took the positives from the game. “It was another point on the board and in this league every point counts.

“We stopped the rot in midweek when drawing 1-1 at Norwich, and we needed to do that. We all know that our recent performances haven’t been as good as they had been earlier in the season and we’ve worked hard on the training ground and I think it showed today.

“The fans were brilliant today and they really got behind us; we just needed that bit of luck to reward their support with a win.”

Doncaster Knights’ British & Irish Cup hopes bit the dust following their 23-17 defeat at Ayr in their must-win Pool D game north of the border.

To add to Knights’ woe, strong-running centre PJ Gidlow broke his arm after coming off the bench and will miss the forthcoming Championship play-offs.

Dons boss Tony Miller made a wasted journey to spy on this weekend’s Challenge Cup third round tie opponents Thatto Heath.

Their National Conference League Premier Division clash at Siddal, who beat the Dons at the same stage of the competition last season, fell victim to a waterlogged pitch denying Miller his first look at the league leaders.

SUNDAY: I don’t think many people, if any, in the ground will have shared Dons’ boss Tony Miller’s optimism that the Keepmoat Stadium side could come back from being 22-0 down in their final Northern Rail Cup Pool A clash against Rochdale Hornets at Spotland, a ground where they have had little luck in recent years.

But Miller was proved right and the Dons hit back to run out 40-36 winners and claim their second win in their four pool games.

Although not good enough to earn them a place in the knockout stages of the competition, it should give them reason for optimism going into the start of their Championship One campaign - their No 1 priority this season - on Sunday week.

Super League champions Wigan failed to slay Australian champions St George-Illawara Dragons in their World Club Challenge at the DW Stadium on Sunday evening.

The Dragons defence in the second half was superb and they denied the home side, who led 15-14 at the break, a point on their way to an exciting 21-15 win.