We ( Kay and I) have been season ticket holders at Headingley in support of Yorkshire Carnegie RUFC for several years now and we make our way across to pretty much all of the home games. Last Sunday was a match against Rotherham in the Championship (I think I’m supposed to say the “Greene King IPA Championship” but never mind.). Thus it was a local derby and likely to be tightly contested and maybe with a decent crowd. I arrived in good time, camera in hand, with the notion of collecting some images during the build up to the game as players warmed up and the crowd turned up – and so I did.
I’m not a “sports photographer” – I have neither the kit nor the inclination to be honest. So I wasn’t so much interested in photographing the game itself – more interested in watching that! – but there is a period of preparation, of anticipation, of gathering, of a building of atmosphere, that I aways rather enjoy. These images then were made during that period from about 45 mins before kick off to when the teams headed to the dressing rooms to change into their match kit, and are a pretty random selection. I’ve deliberately not tried to title them; I recognise some of the faces of course, mostly of the players and coaches, but their identity isn’t important in this context. To me the sequence reminds me of the slow and steady build towards the game; whether it conveys that to anyone else, I can’t be sure.
They’re not necessarily good photographs in any technical sense; indeed I have to admit that several of them have a measure of movement blur or soft focus that marks them out as quick snaps. What makes a photograph “good”? …… I’m not really sure and I find I care less as time goes on. They are a part of my memory bank and looking through them reminds me of an occasion that I enjoyed.
The match? Carnegie won by an impressive sounding 56 – 26. At times they looked imperious and overwhelmed the opposition. At times they seemed to lose the plot a bit and let Rotherham back into the game, but in the end it was a good, solid, bonus point win that was very enjoyable to watch – good stuff!