Willer's Wanderings - Darlington

By Teams for November 5th - December 12 2016
Willer's Wanderings - Darlington After attending a dinner two weeks ago to launch their new ground sharing agreement with Darlington FC, Saturday was saw a return to Darlington RFC for their N&D 2 match against Blyth on the new redeveloped “stadium pitch” ...

This was only the second match on the new pitch - Darlington having played Redcar on Monday evening under flood lights - attracting a crowd of around 300 to see the facilities being used.

On arrival chairman Mike Keeligan dashed straight from what had been a three hour committee meeting to give me a tour of the facilities. He told me of the long term plans to add extra flood lighting to training areas and to completely re-lay the pitch in the summer. Both of these actions are needed to offset the dual use of the playing area.

Under the joint agreement neither the rugby or football teams are permitted to train on the pitch and can only play a fixed number of pre decided matches on the pitch each season.

In the short term the football team are due to play their first league match on the pitch on Boxing Day and have three home fixtures in January.

The stadium is now complete, but the off field facilities are a race against the clock. An FA inspection licencing the use of the ground is to take place on the 19th December.

The new club house entrance, changing rooms for the footballers, separate changing building for the football officials and covered walk way to the pitch must be completed to obtain the licence from the FA for the playing of matches.

At present rugby spectators are only allowed to watch the matches from the club house side of the ground. We opted to watch the match from the club house balcony as at ground level the the dugouts can cause obstructed view of the action.

On the pitch Darlington had a comfortable 48-3 victory over a gallant Blyth side that battled right to the last. The flood lights had to be turned on for the last fifteen minutes of the match on a gloomy overcast day.


Willer's Wanderings - Darlington
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
12/12/2016 10:57
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