FROM Super League to Pennine League Division III.
That’s the journey taken by Ritchie Hawkyard over the summer.
Just three months ago, the Slaithwaite Saracens coach was playing for Bradford Bulls in Super League, including a Galpharm clash against the Giants.
But at the weekend, scrum half Hawkyard was back pulling the strings for the Saracens as they secured a 64-12 triumph at Undercliffe Wildboars to make it two wins out of three.
Not surprisingly, Ritchie and brother Darren – who has been in the Underbank Conference National squad during the summer – were quickly taking complete control and putting the Undercliffe defence under intense pressure.
The home side struck first with a second-minute penalty before Slaithwaite opened their account with a Richard Flooks’ try after 10 minutes, and by half-time their lead was up to 24-2.
Undercliffe again struck first at the start of the second period and at 24-8, it was ‘game on’.
But from then on, it was all one-way traffic as Slaithwaite scored at will.
Unfortunately, 10 minutes from time, Flooks dislocated a knee cap and the game was held up for 30 minutes while the ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.
In the remaining minutes, the Saracens scored a further 16 points as they made sure they gave their injured teammate a good send-off and put the side in good heart ahead of next week’s trip to Sharlston Rovers A.
The unfortunate Flooks and Pete Walsh led the tryscoring with a hat trick each, while Darren Hawkyard scored twice and Ritchie Hawkyard, Aaron Crabtree, Richard Bates and Kyle Dyson added the others.
Danny Garside landed six goals and Flooks two to complete the scoring.
Saracens’ second string opened their home campaign in Division VII with a 32-28 triumph over Harehills.
Player-coach Gary Kendall led from the front with two tries, with debutant Lee Doyle scoring the opening try.
Also on debut were Andrew Bessell, Steve Edwards and Glyn Atkinson, who all showed up well.
Man-of-the-match Chris Wood scored two tries, with outstanding full-back Dave Young scoring the try of the game with a thrilling length-of-the-field effort. captain Paul Beal added the other.