Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Dark Days All in the Past Now for Redcar; PETER GRIFFITHS Throws the Spotlight on the Local Rugby Scene

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Dark Days All in the Past Now for Redcar; PETER GRIFFITHS Throws the Spotlight on the Local Rugby Scene

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER GRIFFITHS

"I NEVER realised just how many people read the Gazette," says Redcar's captain Neil Young.

"The number of times I have been stopped in the town and congratulated about our success so far this season is unbelievable. I can only assume it's because of our coverage in the paper."

Young was talking about the club's awful year when they were pitched into Yorkshire One by the Northern RFU but then returned to a realistic level.

It was patently obvious to all in the know that this league was a bridge too far for them and they spent a season losing match after match, travelling many hundreds of wretched timeconsuming miles and being dispatched to Durham and Northumberland Two at the end - at last a balanced decision by blazer brigade.

Young asserted it was hard at times to get through those dark dismal days of defeat and disappointment.

"It got to the stage that we had to major on purely the social side of rugby life and make life as pleasant as we could for the players," he explained.

"Every away match we had a bus and - how shall I say nicely - a social experience?

"Training suffered, people were falling away, players disappeared and then injuries crept in.

"But at times like that a few heroes shone through. Both long-term official Steve Cooke and coach Adrian Evans were terrific. Adrian gave up lots of Saturdays to be with us when the chips were down.

"I kept positive knowing that at the end of it all something had to happen and it did."

Importantly they then kept spirits up during the summer months with some fun rugby, stuff the lads wouldn't feel fazed by.

"We decided beach rugby would be different," he said. "We hosted some competitions and won a few. Basically training just ticked over - maybe a mile run, no more."

So now Young is looking at a different scenario and one tinged with early season top of the table success.

"To be honest we want Durham and Northumberland One and we feel we can do it," he said. …

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