I would like to express a warm Woodlands welcome to our friends from Blackheath who travel North today on the back of a surprising home defeat against National 1 newcomers Bishop’s Stortford. When playing I always relished fixtures against Blackheath, as you can always rely on them to present challenges across the park and any victory had to be earned. I expect more of the same today. Shanners was probably their biggest signing of the summer and has brought with him a successful style of rugby which will certainly test our defensive and tactical nous today.

Those of you who were at our last home game will share my frustration at missing an opportunity to win in the dying moments. The response from the players was fantastic and they have pushed each other in every training session to bounce back strongly. The collective effort to stop Old Albanians from scoring in the last 15 minutes was enormous and I was really pleased for Greg Smith who nailed the final long range penalty to snatch the win.

The saddest news of the week came when we heard about the passing Stewart Brown, known to most as ‘Granders’. I know how much he meant to a lot of the current and former management who have spoken fondly about his unparalleled  love and support for the club. Those who were close to him will see it as quite fitting that Pete Conway was able to tell him about our last minute win during his final Sunday visit.

On a weekend where we traditionally remember those lost at war, please take some time to pause and reflect on how fortunate we are to be enjoying a game we love amongst our rugby family and friends. Let us be thankful for those who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom, and appreciate many of the things we often take for granted.

Back to the rugby, please enjoy the game!

Warren Spragg