In all my love for sport and teams that I have a passion for there is one that is the number 1, the one I've watched more than any others by a mile, the one I wait every Saturday morning for the result to come through on the message boards. - West Hartlepool Rugby Club. I have told the story many times before about the demise of the team so I will not go there.
Today, however, the climb back up the league system again. A 22-17 win over arch rivals Hartlepool Rovers (for the 4th time this season - also condemning them to Relegation) clinched the North Two East Championship earning promotion to North 1. I am over the moon!!!
To explain how the league system in Rugby Works I will attempt to describe the pyramid. This National System was established in the late 80's West Started out in National Division Three before advancing to the heady levels of the Premiership before the decline set in. Below I will list the leagues in order and also mention some teams that I have seen West play in those leagues over the years.
The Premiership - (Gloucester, Bath, Harlequins, London Wasps, Sale, Saracens, London Irish, Bristol)
National League One - (Northampton, Exeter, Nottingham, Bedford, Coventry, London Welsh, Plymouth Albion, Moseley)
National League Two - (Otley, Manchester, Blackheath, Blaydon, Waterloo, Nuneaton, Halifax)
National League Three North and National League Three South - (Tynedale, Mowden Park, Fylde, Harrogate, Preston Grasshoppers, Bradford and Bingley, Rugby Lions, Morley, London Scottish, Lydney, Rosslyn Park, Clifton)
London One, North 1, Midlands 1 and South West 1 - (Richmond, Kendal, Huddersfield, Westoe, Birkenhead Park, Hull, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Liverpool St. Helens, Loughborough Students, Maidenhead)
Then breaks down further to where North-East Two is. Therefore West are currently in the 6th level of the pyramid about to be promoted to the 5th).
What is frustrating in reading the list of the teams all through the years when I watched West going back to 1979 we were a much better team and most them could not even be on the same field. However, we survived and are moving up again!!)
In honour of this I an going to change the colour of my blog background to Green...
Oh yes, did I mention:-
WEST HARTLEPOOL RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB - CHAMPIONS