Wednesday 29 May 2013 – 7.45pm
Kingston Park, Newcastle
RFU Championship Final 2nd leg
In the end I guess it wasn’t so dramatic. The Falcons played a controlled game, kept the scoreboard ticking over as Bedford sent over kick after kick, and a couple of tries gave us some big cheer practice before we could finally celebrate promotion at full-time.
In reality, Jimmy Gopperth’s last penalty that sent the aggregate lead over 14 points a few minutes from time made promotion certain, but in sport you can never be 100% certain and the Falcons do not know how to do things the easy way.
But that’s not important, all that ever mattered this season was getting back into the Premiership and that has been achieved.
I suppose there is a big sense of relief now that it is all over, the banana skin play-offs have been safely negotiated and we don’t have to do it all again next season with potentially the same result.
Obviously the Premiership is going to be a big challenge and work needs to be done still to make sure that our latest stay in the top division is not as short as that in the Championship.
But now that we have learned not to take them for granted, we can again enjoy trips to Gloucester, Leicester, Harlequins, and of course the one I myself can’t wait for – Bath. Not forgetting the lake in Northampton. Can we please have Stade Francais in Europe too?
It’ll certainly be interesting to see which new signings are coming in now that promotion has been secured. Two internationals and a couple of established Premiership players were mentioned last night, though nobody told me any names. I would expect a big name to be announced later this week if indeed one is lined up.
No doubt there are many sore heads this morning among players, fans and everyone else connected with the Falcons. Personally I don’t feel too bad, didn’t sleep enough but an hour this afternoon and I’ll be ready to celebrate all over again in Whickham tonight.
Sore voices? Perhaps not so much. It was said last night that Leeds was the really big one, and I think the atmosphere was louder at the semi-final. Perhaps because we had more away fans to silence, and the situation in the tie was more tense. But yesterday was still one an evening there will ever forget.
I wonder what time the party finally ended at KP last night? It was still in full swing at midnight.
This has been a season like no other for a young (ish) generation of Falcons fans like myself who have never known away games outside the Premiership, and though it has not been the rollercoaster ride of the last few, it has been a great year and hopefully the start of better things.
Thank you for reading this season, and thank you to all fans for your company whether it be at matches, on trains or at 1am in a bar in Jersey or Bedford.
Watch out Premiership. We’re back!
(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)