Darren Smith: Rugby League is certainly back in Goole, as the Vikings take on Dewsbury Moor
Match report sent to us by Darren Smith of Goole Vikings.
On Saturday the Victoria Pleasure Grounds was transformed back to its original condition, that of a rugby ground, as the Nationwide Concrete Flooring sponsored Goole Vikings prepared to play the first competitive game of rugby league hosted by a Goole team in over 80 years.
The afternoon began with a fine exhibition of junior rugby by the Beverley Braves ARLFC U10 side versus the Holderness Vikings ARLFC U10, the children did extremely well playing with both passion and pride. Beverley won the match by 38 points to 6, the score did not however give a true reflection of the game as both sides were equally matched throughout.
At 2 o’clock Vikings Captain Josh Hardy proudly lead his team out of the tunnel and on to the field of play to a rapturous applause by the crowd.
During the first 20 minutes Goole were under the cosh of a far more experienced Dewsbury side hardly leaving their own half, Dewsbury took the lead with a powerful try by Lewis Harvey.
Halfway through the first half Goole found their stride and after a nervous start started to attack the Dewsbury line with a growing regularity however a strong Dewsbury defence kept the Vikings at bay and the half ended with the Vikings trailing by only four points.
The second half started very much the same way as the first with Goole been on the back foot which again was exploited by Dewsbury going over the try line within 5 minutes of the whistle sounding to start the half, the try was converted giving Dewsbury a 10 point lead.
This try led to a switch been thrown in the Vikings camp and the possession tide started to turn, some crunching tackles by Viking props Dan Cook and Micheal Martinez saw Dewsbury realise they were in a game and that Goole had not yet given up and were a team to be reckoned with.
After some fast hands and jinxing runs on the 59th minute Goole’s Trevor Wilson went over the whitewash and into the history books becoming the first Goole player to score a competitive try at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds since 1938. Despite strong cross winds Scott Turner dissected the uprights to bring the score to 6 - 10.
Unfortunately only ten minutes later Dewsbury’s Jackson Walker found a gap in the Goole defence to score what could have been the decisive try which was converted leaving the Vikings trailing by 10 points with only 10 minutes remaining, rather then letting their heads drop the Vikings went on the rampage making a tiring Dewsbury defence look ordinary and after what was the best attacking display of the game Goole’s young full back Ben Hodder flew over the line to reduce the deficit to 6 points which after another accurate conversion by Scott Turner was further reduced to 4.
Straight from the restart Goole we’re on the attack again and after the first tackle found themselves only feet away from Dewsbury’s try line the second tackle found Goole agonisingly inches away from the whitewash and looking like a try was imminent but the referee’s watch decided the game was over and he blew for full time leaving Goole cruelly missing out on their first ever victory by only four points.
Guest of honour at the match Goole’s Mayor Cllr Richard Walker and Castleford Tigers Super League star Liam Watts both agreed that the man of the match for Goole was the forward wrecking ball Micheal Martinez who’s strength in both attack and defence was unmatchable and proved a constant problem to the visitors.
The future looks bright for the Goole Vikings, once they are pitted against teams in their own league, as each game their fitness, strength and team spirit within the camp is crowing and the marauding Vikings are assured to become a force to be reckoned with.
The Game Ball was kindly sponsored by the Goole Times, the Vikings were helped throughout the day by Flt Lt Mathew Hillam and the Air Cadets from 2357 (Goole) Squadron Air Training Corps who worked tirelessly selling raffle tickets and programmes. The day certainly lived up to expectations with a large crowd of happy supporters enjoying a great sporting spectacular a feeling of true community spirit was felt around the Victoria Pleasure Grounds and it is hoped that there will be a lot more to come throughout the summer months. Rugby League is certainly back in Goole with a vengeance.
Goole Vikings play their next game away to Queensbury ARLFC this Saturday kick Off is at 2pm