Preview to Rosslyn Park (a) 24.09.1122/09/2011
Jersey are back on the road again this weekend for what I am sure will be another lively encounter against another London club with a long and distinguished history - Rosslyn Park.
'Park' who, like Jersey, have faltered a couple of times in their first 4 matches have the same number of league points as us and are currently sat one place below us in 10th position due to a slightly poorer points difference.
Last weekend they suffered a narrow 36-32 loss away to Cambridge, a side tipped by many as one of the favourites at the start of the campaign. Park started their season well with wins against local rivals, Blackheath and followed that with an easier triumph over Barking. They came unstuck when Ealing Trailfinders travelled to the capital, going down 33-17 in a game in which much of the damage was orchestrated by ex-Park player, Neil Hallett!
Reports from last week's encounter with Cambridge suggest that Park were perhaps unlucky to lose what was a 'feisty encounter' played on a 'blustery day' that saw the advantage sway from one side to the other, and had both sides pick up bonus points for scoring 4 tries.
History of the club
And so to the history of this famous club, once graced (and captained) by our very own Radley Montgomery.
The club was founded in 1879 when a group of young cricketers decided to form a football club in order to stay together during the winter months. They had originally played their scratch games of cricket in the grounds of Rosslyn House, part of the Rosslyn Park Estate and had therefore taken the name "Rosslyn Park" for their cricket club. When they formed their rugby club they took the same name. Some histories have tried to link the club with the Earls of Rosslyn. Whilst Baron Loughborough, the first Earl of Rosslyn once lived at Rosslyn House, its name was only changed from 'Shelford Lodge' to 'Rosslyn House' after his death. And in any case he died more than 60 years before the club was formed! Neither the football club, nor the cricket club once formed, ever played at Rosslyn Park.
The name Rosslyn Park is also strongly associated with a schools' sevens tournament. In 1939, sixteen schools participated and by 1996 this had grown to a massive 350 and is now the world's largest Sevens tournament.
When League Rugby Union was introduced in the 1980s, Park were allocated to Division Two, but won promotion to the top flight at the first attempt. The march of professionalism has at times made life complicated for the club, but at present they play in National League 1 and rank amongst the top 30 clubs in the country with over 800 playing members between the Senior, Ladies, Junior, Youth and Mini Sections.
Directions to the ground
The club play at Priory Lane, Upper Richmond Road, Roehampton, London. SW15 5JH
From Hammersmith 33 or 72 to the junction of Upper Richmond Road and Roehampton Lane
From Richmond 337 or 493 on the Upper Richmond Road just before the junction with Rocks Lane
From Putney Bridge 265 to Roehampton Lane From Putney 337 to the junction of Upper Richmond Road and Roehampton Lane
Trains out of London
Platforms 16-19 Waterloo main line station through Clapham Junction towards Richmond & Twickenham. Stopping at BARNES (a short walk, which is signposted to Rosslyn Park)
If you can't make it to SW London this weekend, then you can still get updates from:
• Preview on BBC Radio Jersey's 'Sportscene' from 6- 7pm on Friday, and regular updates on Saturday afternoon
• Preview in Friday's JEP, and full match coverage on Monday
• Scoreflashes on @jerseyrfc Twitter and the 'Rolling Maul' rugby forum
• Match report on Channel 103 at 5.10pm on Saturday
• Highlights on Channel TV at 6.15pm on Monday, and online.