This Saturday all three sides are on the road. The Blood and Sand make their longest journey of the season down to Plymouth, the Wanderers are off to Wimbledon and the 3rds off to Norwich.
Plymouth sits at the mouths of the rivers Plym and Tamar which form the natural harbour of the Sound. It started as a trading port. It was the port from which Raleigh left to found Roanoke and the Pilgrims left for New England. However, it was too far from the English markets and other ports gained prominence. So the Plymouth sailors turned to Piracy until in 1690 the Royal Naval Dockyard opened and the town became intrinsically linked with the Grey Funnel Line.
The current city consists of three former towns. historic Plymouth round Sutton Harbour with the Barbican - whose towers appear on the city and clubs coats of arms, and the Hoe where Drake was said to wait for the Armada. Devonport on the bank of the estuary of the Tamar, known as the Hamoaze. Home of the Royal Dockyard and home of the frigate fleet. It faces the Cornish towns of Saltash and Tor Point on the other bank. In between is Stonehouse - home of the Marines and the Royal Victualling yard.
Plymouth Albion is a merger of two clubs dating to the 1870s Plymouth RFC who played in green and white and Devonport Albion formed by the dockyard apprentices playing in cherry and white. They merged after the first war - partly due to lack of numbers but also because Devonport's ground had been requisitioned by the Navy. The new club merged colours and moved to Beacon Park. They stayed there until 2003 when they moved to the current ground, Brickfields. They entered the leagues at level 3 but reorganised to level 4, were promoted twice to level 2 spent thirteen seasons at that level before being relegated in 2015. Since relegation they have finished every season in the top five. But this season they find themselves ninth. We drew the match in Cambridge. They lost their last two matches at Sale and Blackheath - but beat Rosslyn Park at Brickfields.
Last week in what was the calm before the storm, the 1st XV beat Sale. However this week they may well be playing in the teeth of a gale once again. Of course, they did play Ampthill during Storm David. That was a low scoring affair but we came out victorious. We also won in the critical match in the rain at Sale last season. Proving we are not just a fair weather side.