In Chairmans Message by Rochdale Rugby

Good afternoon and welcome to Moorgate Avenue
After a practically perfect first half of the season the 1st XV have stuttered since the turn of the year. After the loss to Southport, we will be looking to return to winning ways and expecting to maintain our unbeaten home record.

For today’s game we welcome back captain Dom Serridge, Sean Needham and Ross Hartley who will add experience and leadership to the team. The return of Beltus Nonleh after a long injury is particularly pleasing as his impact play has been sorely missed this season.

The 2nd XV is also at home this afternoon, against Bolton. The reverse fixture was a very hard fought 0 – 9 win. After a good start to the season we suffered a mini slump. The team lie 5th in their league and will be looking to climb back up. However, recent excellent away wins against Fylde and Warrington followed by a narrow defeat against high fliers Burnage has seen prospects look up.

Managed by John Gillighan and captained by Alex Isherwood the team has been a regular supplier of players to the 1st XV. Due to a large number of injuries, to this observer’s reckoning, there have been as many as 10 players required for the senior team. This shows good strength in depth although it does make the manager’s job rather difficult.

Today the 3rd XV returns to league action with an away fixture to Oldham. Currently unbeaten they sit comfortably atop their league. Ably led for the past 3 year by Aaron Beresford, the team is a mixture of experience and youth. As well as their excellent league form, there was also a notable victory over the Expendables, our very own veteran team. An excellent scalp!

Dates for The Diary
Friday 28th February: Charity Quiz Night. The annual charity quiz in aid of Project Harar. Quizmaster is the renowned Grumpy Gatekeeper.

Today’s Match Sponsors
Today’s match sponsor is Powersave Installations Limited. Powersave are, of course, Iain Coates, Phil Hargreaves and Peter Carey who have been not only been great supporters, but also great servants of the Club over many years’ past. A warm welcome to Powersave’s guests today. We wish them a very enjoyable afternoon.

Today’s Visitors
We also warmly welcome our good friends and today’s opponents Tarleton RUFC and their players, coaches, officials and supporters. Tarleton suffered the very narrowest of defeats last time out, losing by a single point 25 – 26 to Leigh, so they will doubtless be looking to make amends today. So, a tough contest is expected.

Today’s Match Official
Today’s match official is Mr. Andrew Irvine of the Manchester & District Rugby Union Referee’s Society. With rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship very much in mind, please be courteous and respectful to our official, without whom there would be no game.

So, I wish you all a very enjoyable day. Thank you for your attendance and support.

Nigel Skilling
‘Senior’ Member Rochdale RUFC