Knights undone by Warriors late charge.

Warriors 25 v Knights 5

The Knights arrived at Castle Park to face Worcester Warriors knowing the size of the task ahead of them. Dean Ryan’s men had not tasted defeat since the opening game of the season versus Bristol and a squad boasting a wealth of rugby experience at the very highest level. Despite this the Knights took to the field at Sixways Stadium and for 65 minutes matched the Warriors in every department to play with courage and endeavor before the home side’s class told in the dying minutes.

 

In front of a 5,000 strong crowd the Knights started brightly and took the early possession. A break by scrum half Jack Maplesden carried the team forward, just short of the home 22-metre but a foul on the floor afforded Worcester a chance to clear.

 

Following the initial spurt Warriors settled in to the contest and the Knights had to endure a series of heavy attacks. Firstly winger Dean Hammond looked like he may well have been in for the hosts but frantic defence from Ume Fosita and Andy Bulumakau was enough to put the speedster to touch. Penalty advantage meant the Warriors could go again, they elected scrum and after a good drive from the Knights pack Worcester eventually got the ball away. Space looked to have been created down the right flank but an ambitious pass aimed towards Hammond was off target and bounce into touch. Another opportunity fell to the winger shortly after but once again solid defence forced an error and the Knights kept their try line intact.

 

Both sides committed fully to their endeavours in attack and defence and it took it’s toll, tight head Nick Schonert was forced from the field of play very early on to be replaced by Mike Daniels. The replacement did little to affect the Knights early dominance in the scrum and a handful of scrum penalties saw some good territory established.

 

After the storm of the first ten-minute’s few would argue that the majority of the first half did not belong to the Knights. Extended spells of patient possession, where the pack battled for every inch, created opportunity. Breaks came for Donny, with front row pairing Colin Quigley and Ben Hunter finding themselves with space in front of them out wide. The Knights continued to plug away at Worcester as the half wore on but the well-drilled home defences looked watertight and on the odd occasion they did enjoy possession moved the ball with worrying pace and purpose.

 

With less than ten minutes before the interval the hosts went up a gear. A strong wind meant kicking for territory and to clear danger was problematic for the Knights in the first half and under pressure Jack Maplesden forced a box kick dropped that just outside the Knights 22-metre. The hosts moved possession quickly following the line out but a pass to flanker Sam Betty was judged forward and the Knights won another penalty from the resulting scrum. The wind affected Fosita’s kick to touch and a miss-fire at the line out granted Worcester good attacking position, strong interlinking between centres Andy Symons and Max Stelling created room for the latter who raced home. Ryan Lamb could not convert the extras.

 

Before the half the Knights were hit with a Speight of injuries that saw Ben Hunter, Piers Francis and Colin Quigley all leave the field in quick succession. Despite the disruption the Knights finished in the ascendancy. A turnover deep in the Worcester half quickly found it’s way into Mat Clark’s hands and the centre carried powerfully. The forwards quickly supported the break and drove up towards the Warriors try line, a hand full of pick and go carries got the Knights within inches before being held up in goal and the half time whistle being blown.

 

Trailing by just five points, having enjoyed the majority of possession and playing with the wind in the second half, the prospect of an upset was being uttered in the stands.

 

The hosts started brightly and a rare slip up at a Knights scrum allowed Ryan Lamb to kick a penalty to the Knights 22m. Donny defended their line resolutely and eventually forced a fumble out of Worcester. This was a theme for the opening twenty minutes of the second half; the Knights defended with commitment and dogged determination but the waves of home attacks continued to come.

 

The breakthrough came for Worcester just after the hour mark, a sweeping attack from right to left had the Knights defences stretched and just short of his own try line Bevon Armitage slowed the ball at a ruck to prevent what would have in all likelihood been a try. The centre was shown a yellow card for the indiscretion, the resulting penalty was put to touch and from the line out the Warriors pack rumbled over with flanker Sam Betty touching down.

With a man advantage the Knights could no longer hold the league’s high fliers and Worcester registered three further tries in the next ten minute’s of play. Firstly, winger Tom Biggs finished a flowing backs move to touch down in the corner before a quickly taken penalty from Charlie Mulchrone put the Warriors on the front foot, the pack carried the move forward and Betty registered his second. Finally replacement tight head Mike Daniels showed an impressive turn of foot to intercept a stray pass a sprint home from his own half.

 

Once again Doncaster showed that they will always play until the final whistle is blown and in the game’s closing seconds got a try of their own. Dougie Flockhart took a quick penalty to break into the Worcester half. Mat Clark carried the break forward and as the forwards arrived Ross Davies picked up to barge his way over and score. Dougie was unable to convert, making the final score 25-5.

 

A determined effort by the Knights who now have a week to recover before a Yorkshire derby clash with Carnegie; the importance of which cannot be underestimated.

Warriors

15 Ben Howard, 14 Dean Hammond, 13 Max Stelling (Alex Grove 56’), 12 Andy Symons, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Ryan Lamb (Ignacio Mieres 72’), 9 Jonny Arr (Charlie Mulchrone 55’), 1 Ryan Bower (George Porter 66’), 2 Agustin Creevy (Dan George 56’), 3 Nick Schonert (Mike Daniels 12’), 4 Mike Williams, 5 Jonathan Thomas, 6 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Sam Betty, 8 GJ van Velze (C) (Dan Sanderson 72’)

Replacements;16 Dan George,17 George Porter, 18 Mike Daniels, 19 Dan Sanderson, 20 Charlie Mulchrone, 21 Ignacio Mieres, 22 Alex Grove

 

Tries; Stelling 32’, Betty 63’ & 72’, Biggs 66’, Daniels 73’

Conv;

Pens;

Knights XV

15. Paul Jarvis, 14 .Dougie Flockhart, 13. Andy Bulumakau, 12. Bevon Armitage, 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Piers Francis (Mat Clark 32’), 9. Jack Maplesden (Ed Hoadley 70’), 1. Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 58’), 2 .Ben Hunter (Vili Veikoso 38’), 3. Colin Quigley (Ross Davies 39’), 4. Tyler Hotson, 5. Jon Phelan (Phil Eggleshaw 63’), 6. Matt Challinor, 7. Michael Hills © (Will Foden 72’), 8. Alex Shaw.

Replacement; 16. Jack Bergmanas, 17. Viliame Veikoso, 18. Ross Davies, 19. Phil Eggleshaw, 20. Mat Clark, 21. Ume Fosita, 22. Ed Hoadley

Tries; Davies 79’

Conv;

Pens;

Sin Bin; Armitage 61’

 

Attendance: 5,643

Referee: JP Doyle

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Knights face the Predator.

The Knights visited Bawtry Paintball Fields in Doncaster for a blast at outdoor Laser Combat earlier in the week for some team building ahead of tomorrow’s Championship clash with Worcester Warriors.

The team took parts in a number of scenario games including; Convoy Attack, Castle Assault, and particularly enjoyed ‘Green Zone’ featuring one of the Lynx helicopters bought from the Tom Cruise movie ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’.

The Knights enjoyed their break from training and are set to return to throw an axe or two, and hone their skills with bows and arrows on the new archery and axe throwing ranges that are set to open at the www.bawtrypaintballfields.co.uk in March.

 

 

 

 

 

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Knights side to face Warriors announced.

DoR Clive Griffiths has named his side to take on promotion hopefuls Worcester Warriors tomorrow afternoon.

Griff makes just three changes from the side that comprehensively overcame Munster ‘A’ in the British and Irish Cup quarterfinals last Saturday as the Knights hope to upset the form book.

There is just one change to the back division as teenage scrum half Jack Maplesden makes his first Championship start since the Knights opening day victory over Plymouth Albion. Jack lines up inside Piers Francis in the halfbacks, Bevon Armitage and Andy Bulumakau continue in midfield and it is a familiar looking back three of Dougie Flockhart, Tyson Lewis and Paul Jarvis.

Upfront Colin Quigley is back in the fold in place of Ross Davies at tight head. The only other switch from last weekend sees Club Captain Matt Challinor return, playing at blindside flanker in place of Latu Makaafi.

There are a couple of notable inclusions on the bench; ‘Ume’ Fosita is set to make his Knights debut. The fly-half/full back signed earlier in the month but was not eligible to feature in last Saturday’s Cup quarterfinal. Another new face may run out in Donny colours tomorrow as 20-year-old scrum half Ed Hoadley is named in the match day 22. Hoadley arrives at Castle Park on loan from National One outfit Rosslyn Park, having recently spent time at London Irish and London Welsh.

Kick off tomorrow is a 3pm, don’t forget the supporters coach departs at 11am & costs just £20 return, call or text John Lowe on 07977112706.

Knights XV

15. Paul Jarvis, 14 .Dougie Flockhart, 13. Andy Bulumakau, 12. Bevon Armitage, 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Piers Francis, 9. Jack Maplesden, 1. Richard List, 2 .Ben Hunter, 3. Colin Quigley, 4. Tyler Hotson, 5. Jon Phelan, 6. Matt Challinor, 7. Michael Hills ©, 8. Alex Shaw.

 

Replacement; 16. Jack Bergmanas, 17. Viliame Veikoso, 18. Ross Davies, 19. Phil Eggleshaw, 20. Mat Clark, 21. Ume Fosita, 22. Ed Hoadley

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SGM Postponed

Due to the adverse weather conditions the Special General Meeting scheduled to be held at Castle Park this evening has been postponed.

The board of directors have decided that due to the overnight snowfall, with more forecast, the hazardous driving and underfoot conditions both locally and at Castle Park that this evening’s SGM will be postponed and shall be rescheduled to a new date in due course.

All members will be contacted by Castle Park staff, though please spread the word.

 

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Griff commends Knights resolve following Munster win.

The Knights turned in arguably their finest performance of the season to progress to the British and Irish Cup semi-finals last Saturday triumphing over Munster ‘A’.

 

The Knights took the lead after fifteen minutes and went on to complete a comprehensive 38-17 victory over the Province’s development outfit. DoR Griffiths was pleased by his side’s performance and believes it is a testament to the team spirit present in the camp. “It was a real land mark victory for us on Saturday, one of the reporters after the game said to me that it was a good performance, I said no, it was a very good performance. In fact it was a dominant performance.

 

“When you take into account the tries that were disallowed and the one we missed when Michael [Hills] was over the line then forgot where he was, it could have been a lot more.

 

“We’d certainly have taken that score line at kick off, especially on the back of our recent run of narrow defeats. It was a real confidence booster for the boys and shows that we are a good side and when we put it all together it will take a very good side to stop us.

 

“We showed a great mix of our driving game, passing game and kicking game, it was nice to see all the aspects we’d worked on in the week come right on a Saturday and it was an outstanding team effort.

 

“I’m very please with the attitude the players have shown, they’ve really taken ownership of things.

 

“Last week the coaching staff stepped back a little bit, in the review on Monday we had a very honest meeting with the boys but there was no panic.

 

“We’re that close, we know we should have beaten Rotherham, we should have beaten Bedford and sold ourselves short against Jersey for sure.”

 

“It has been disappointing to lose those games, other teams may have crumbled but there is a great resolve amongst the players and we’ll need to show that mental toughness again now this Saturday, going down to the cauldron at Sixways in front of 6,000 referees.”

 

One of the many positives of Saturday’s game was the return a to action for centre Mat Clark. The number thirteen has been sidelined since mid October, recovering from an operation but replaced Andy Bulumakau for the final fifteen minutes versus Munster ‘A’. Griff was pleased to see Mat back in the fold. “The most important thing for Mat was to get back on the field and feel part of it again.

 

“He played a small role in the victory but it was a very important step psychologically for Mat who has been out for a long time.

 

“We were toying with the idea of whether to play him or not but actually I think it will have done him the world of good getting out there and not delaying it another week.

 

“He’ll go into the Worcester game now with much more confidence than if he hadn’t played and got back out in to the arena again.”

 

This weekend the Knights face what will, in all likelihood, be one of their stiffest away tests of the season versus Worcester Warriors. Dean Ryan’s men sit second in the Championship table and have not tasted defeat since the opening day of the season.

 

Clive is realistic about his side’s chances but refuses to rule out an upset. “It’s going to be so important to start well on Saturday, when we played them here we were rabbits in headlamps for fifteen minutes and they went 12-0 up, from then on it was a very competitive game and we caused them some problems.

 

“We know we’ll need to be the best we can be and they might have to have a bit of an off day for us to get an upset on Saturday because of the resources they have.

 

“That’s not me being negative, just realistic, they have massive resources with regards to their; playing squad, coaching set up, analysis, medical team and right through. I have worked there and know the facilities that are available.

 

“We are going to have the best we can be to go there and get anything but who knows, if we are, and they have a bit of an off day we might do a Bradford City.”

 

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Baz Barkway

We are saddened to announce that DRFC stalwart of the 1970s/1980s Baz Barkway has passed away, aged 83, after a short illness following an operation.

Baz was a regular Dragon’s player well into his forties but it was as a general volunteer in many different roles that he made a great contribution to the Club’s progress. He retired to Hampshire at the end of the 1980s and he is survived by his wife Mary.

A memorial service will be held at Bournemouth crematorium on Friday, February 13th at 14:30.

 

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British & Irish Cup semi-final draw.

After Saturday’s superb 38-17 victory over Munster ‘A’ the Knights are one of the four semi-finalists in this year’s British & Irish Cup.

 

The other semi-finalists comprise the two sides currently occupying Greene King IPA Championship top two positions, Bristol Rugby and Worcester Warriors, and Leinster ‘A’ who are looking to retain the Cup for a third successive year.

 

The semi-finals will be played on Saturday March 14th, kick off times to be negotiated and the draw will be made on Monday February 2nd.

 

There is no seeding for the draw, which will be made at random, so the Knights pool stage ranking will not have any effect on whether we are drawn at home or away.

 

 

Unfortunately, competition regulations state that neither the semi-finals nor final of the British & Irish Cup can be included as part of the home Club’s Season Ticket package.

 

As soon as the draw is announced it will be published on www.drfc.co.uk

 

#COYK

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Knights maul Munster to reach semi-finals.

Knights 38 v Munster ‘A’ 17
In arguably the finest display of the season to date, The Knights produced a superb 80-minute showing versus Munster ‘A’ to claim their place in the British and & Irish Cup semi-final.
 
The Knights have reserved some of their better performances for the Cup competition this season but this afternoon’s display trumped the lot. Controlling proceedings from the first whistle to the last, against a much-fancied Munster ‘A’ side with considerable top-flight experience.
 
The early proceedings saw the visitors take hold of possession, keeping it patiently in the face of some fearsome tackling by the Knights defence. A bit of over eagerness at the breakdown cost Donny however as they were penalised for a ruck infringement. Fly half Rory Scannell successfully took the early opportunity to open the scoring, 0-3.
 
Undeterred the Knights produced an almost immediate response after Jon Phelan recovered the kick off for his side. A penalty then went Doncaster’s way and Piers Francis put it to the corner, a solid catch and drive was produced that looked as if it had ended in the game’s opening score but a fracas between members of both packs stopped play and resulted in a penalty for Munster.
 
Donny continued to attack and looked threatening when they got the ball out wide, an overlap down the left hand side had Irish defences scrambling but the final pass asked a little too much of winger Tyson Lewis. The home side showed a real prowess at the set piece all afternoon and it soon paid dividends, a powerful scrum forced a penalty that Francis put to touch. A lovely long throw from hooker Ben Hunter was collected and the Knights quickly organized a driving maul, they were able to get a nudge on and Michael Hills dived over to touch down. Flockhart converted for his first of six on target kicks.
 
An attack from Munster forced a hurried clearance from Lewis but a handling error gave the Knights pack another chance to assert their dominance. A replacement was made at loose head with Peter McCabe entering the fray a little over 25-minutes into the game but it mattered not as at the next scrum the Knights won another scrum penalty, which Piers Francis booted downfield. After the following line out the visitors fell foul of the referees whistle again and again Donny went to the corner.
 
Trying to replicate the earlier success another solid maul was formed this time though the Munster pack put a halt to the drive, however referee Dan Jones judged them to have done so illegally. With penalty advantage, the Knights moved the ball in field and strung together several phases of hard running rugby. Spotting half a gap scrum half Bruno Bravo wriggled his way through before jinking his way past a couple of would be defenders to touch down.
 
It would not be unfair to say the Knights could have been guilty of complaceny when in winning positions this season but that was certainly not the case this afternoon. Having established field position from yet another scrum penalty they went to their maul again and for a second time, rolled through the visiting defence to score and for a second time Hills was the man to emerge with the ball.
 
In the closing minutes of the first half Munster fought back and made inroads up field with some patient phase play. A clever chip ahead had Paul Jarvis in trouble but the full back managed to fight his way to the touchline and bring the first half to a close with a score of 21-3.
 
As expected the Munster side came out fired up for the second half but with the Knights set piece so dominant and defences strong they absorbed the early pressure. One more scrum penalty gave Dougie a chance to extend the lead; he did so comfortably. Things quickly got worse for the visitors when former British & Irish Lions and Munster’s most capped player Donncha O’Calaghan was sin-binned
 
More attacks fell Doncaster’s way and a half break from Piers Francis almost created a gap for Andy Bulumakau but the offload just fell short of centre’s grasp. The Knights were dealt a blow shortly after when Bravo, who had enjoyed a fine game to the point, was forced from the field holding his elbow to be replaced by Jack Maplesden. The change in personnel did little to stop the Knight flow and moments later they were in again. From a lineout outside of the Munster ‘A’ 22m the pack patiently and with great organization worked their way towards the Cork men’s line, committing more numbers they gained momentum. After what seemed like an age they got in to the red zone and flanker Makaafi grounded the ball. Flockhart’s successful kick meant that the Knights held a lead of 31-3 with less than half an hour to go.
 
Munster were not in the mood to give up though and only minute’s later they managed a score of their own. Hard running in midfield drew in Knights defenders before fly half Rory Scannell ran through a gap and barged his way over the try line. He quickly converted his attempt to reduce the deficit to 21 points.
 
Either side of the hour mark a host of substitutions were made by both coaches which interrupted the flow of the game somewhat but the Knights certainly never looked in danger of letting their lead slip as the game wore on. Chances came for both teams as Munster blew caution to the wind but it was Griff’s men who struck next. Unsurprisingly, the break came from another solid Knights scrum. Number eight Alex Shaw picked before spinning the ball out wide to Jack Maplesden who fed Paul Jarvis. The full back did superbly to break the line and set up a two on one, which Dougie Flockhart gladly finished off. The Scotsman converted and the match was won.
 
Credit must go to Munster A, who refused to lay down and with only seconds left in the tie replacement winger Dan Goggin produced a thundering run to breakthrough some weary tackling and touch down. The conversion was successful and with that the game was ended.
 
After a tricky couple of results for the Knights this performance reminded all those at Castle Park what this team is capable of. A complete performance where the pack dominating and back line looked threatening, we look ahead to the semi-final with great anticipation.
 
15. Paul Jarvis (Paul Roberts 78’), 14. Dougie Flockhart, 13. Andy Bulumakau, 12. Bevon Armitage (Mat Clark 67’), 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Piers Francis, 9. Bruno Bravo. (Jack Maplesden 47’), 1. Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 67’), 2. Ben Hunter (Vili Veikoso 62’) 3. Ross Davies (WillGriff John 70’), 4 Tyler Hotson, 5. Jon Phelan, 6. Latu Makaafi (Matt Challinor 62’), 7. Michael Hills, 8. Alex Shaw.
 
Replacements; 16. Jack Bergmanas, 17. Viliame Veikoso, 18. Matt Challinor, 19. WillGriff John, 20 Mat Clark, 21. Paul Roberts, 22. Jack Maplesden.
 
Tries; Hills 15’, 36’, Bravo 26’ Makaafi 51’, Flockhart 76’
Conv; Flockhart 15’, 26, 36, 51’, 76’
Pens; Flockhart 44’
 
15. Stephen Fitzgerald, 14. Darren Sweetnam, 13. Dave Johnston, 12. Gearoid Lyons, 11. Greg O’Shea (Dan Goggin 53’), 10. Rory Scannell, 9. Neil Cronin (Jack Cullen 67’), 1. Liam O’Connor (Peter McCabe 23’), 2. Niall Scannell (Kevin O’Bryne 40’), 3. Ger Sweeney (Declan Lavery 53’), 4. Donncha O’Callaghan, 5. Lee Nicholas, 6. Shane Buckley, 7. Sean Dougall (Frank Bradshaw Ryan 62’), 8. Jack O’Donoghue (Ben Kilkenny 53’) ©
 
Replacements; 16. Kevin O’Bryne, 17. Peter McCabe, 18. Declan Lavery, 19. Frank Bradshaw Ryan, 20. Ben Kilkenny, 21. Jack Cullen, 22. Dan Goggin
 
Tries ; Scannell 57’ , Goggin 80’
Conv; Scannell 57’ Goggin 80’
Pens; Scannell 4’,
 
Attendance: 1,174
Referee: Dan Jones

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Volunteers required

For a second week running the chilly January weather looks set to try and disrupt an aft noon of rugby at Castle Park. Overnight temperatures are set to fall dangerously close to freezing, precaution has been taken this afternoon and, following this morning’s Captain’s Run, the Knights squad aided the ground staff to put the front sheets on the Castle Park pitch.

The result is that, thankfully, the frost will not affect tomorrow’s fixture with Munster ‘A’ but the covers will need to be removed before any rugby can be played and we are asking for any Knights fans who might be able to get to Castle Park tomorrow morning. The sheets will be coming off at 9am so to give the ground staff time to mark the pitch and many hands make light work, so any help will be much appreciated.

#COYK

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Griff names squad for Cup Clash.

The Knights squad hoping to progress to the British and Irish Cup semi-finals has been named.

 

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths has made a number of changes to the side that lost out to Jersey in the Greene King IPA Championship last Saturday. Andy Bulumakau makes a return to the side at outside centre in place of Leicester Tigers loanee George Cathpole. There is also an overhaul in the halfbacks as Bruno Bravo and Piers Francis take the places in the starting XV of Tom Palu and Paul Roberts.

 

Upfront Ross Davies and Ben Hunter line up in the jerseys two and three alongside Richard List. It is an all-Canadian affair in the second row with Tyler Hotson and Jon Phelan in the second row. Latu Makaafi is back in the starting line up with Michael Hills and Alex Shaw completing the squad.

 

Front row cover is provided courtesy of Jack Bergmanas, Vili Veikoso and WillGriff John. Club Captain Matt Challinor will hope to make an impact from the bench and there is a return to action for Mat Clark. The centre has been side lined through injury since October. Youngster Jack Maplesden has also been recalled and will hope to get a chance from the bench.

Knights XV

15. Paul Jarvis

14 .Dougie Flockhart

13. Andy Bulumakau

12. Bevon Armitage

11. Tyson Lewis

10. Piers Francis

9. Bruno Bravo

 

1. Richard List

2 .Ben Hunter

3. Ross Davies

4. Tyler Hotson

5. Jon Phelan

6. Latu Makaafi

7. Michael Hills

8. Alex Shaw

 

Replacement; 16. Jack Bergmanas, 17. Viliame Veikoso, 18. Matthew Challinor, 19. WillGriff John, 20. Mat Clark, 21. Paul Roberts, 22. Jack Maplesden.

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No postponement at the Castle

We would just like to reassure all Knights fans that tomorrow’s British & Irish quarter-final clash with Munster ‘A’ is on!

It has come to our attention that the fixture has been incorrectly listed as postponed on the BBC Sport website, this is not the case [http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/british-irish-cup/fixtures]. Tomorrow’s fixture is very much going ahead, as is our pre-match Burns Lunch. Tickets are available from reception [01302 831388 opt 5] right now. Remember general admission starts from just £5 for tomorrow’s tie. #COYK

 

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