Where to start, a season of predominately highs but the occasional learning points (won’t call them low) but one fact overrides them all – the 2018/19 squad is the best ever Billingham team.
What could have been, after spending the majority of the season in 2nd spot there is a tint of disappointment and regret. What it has done is give us genuine belief of what can be achieved in the coming years. Perhaps we are not ready for that just yet and another season like this will only make us stronger. As a young group, we are always looking to improve and come up with new ideas. It’s a player led environment where expressing yourself is paramount. To learn where we have made mistakes along the way we need everyone to understand why and how to improve. As a coach, it is my job to give the lads a platform to do this in the training we provide.
As a senior section I could not have asked more form the lads, the numbers at training throughout the season has been incredible, the buy in has been great from all the teams.
Socially we are better than ever, you just need to see the smile on Nick Dalgliesh when he totals those tills.
As a group, we are tighter than ever and that has shown in some of the victories this season, when the backs are up against it we have come up trumps. Both Blaydon wins, Harrogate away and the comeback against Sandal at home all very memorable in their own ways.
After a few seasons, plodding along in mid table it’s been great to have those big games again.
The Lions have stepped up to the plate this year. Back to back county champions to start with, a great achievement and only the 3rd time we have won it. They have mirrored some first team fixtures, coming away with some huge wins. One that stands out for me, after both teams winning away in the rain at Harrogate, standing on the first team pitch in a huddle with near 45 players ecstatic at winning for the first time ever there. The main purpose of the lions is to provide competitive rugby acting a springboard to the first team, gone are the days of it being purely social.
It was always going to be tough for the 3TM, unbeaten last year having that target on their back this season. They too have stepped up and faced / beat teams from higher leagues.
As a whole, we have used a huge amount of younger players this season; it has been a fantastic year for the development with over 15 colts stepping up to play senior rugby. Also seeing those ex colts stick around and make lasting impressions on all the teams.
A big thankyou to everyone who has turned out to support any of the teams pulling on the shirts this year, the numbers on the sidelines have grown and grown. Whether that be a supporter/volunteer it does mean a lot to the lads.
There is a host of other things to talk about but I will leave that summary to the committee, it has been a huge year for the club on and off the field.
Lastly, to all the players it a huge thankyou from me. The success has been great but more than anything, it has been a barrel of laughs along the way.
Training will continue for a while as we get our money in for the senior presentation night which is May 17th 7pm – not to be missed.
Updated 14:17 - 15 Apr 2019 by mike brown