Scarborough Danesmen 22 Kenilworth Pirates 34
Saturday 28th March 2015
On the 37th annual tour; the Pirates team travelled to Scarborough RUFC. On a blowy Saturday afternoon in March, 15 gentlemen of elder years and 7 subs took to the field at 13:00 (an opposition ploy to ensure we were still slightly "tender"). Probably for the first time in Pirates history the average age of the Alickadoos; those retired or crocked and unable to take the field was a mere 47 years old. The average age of the team on the field was 50.
The front row forwards who were excellent and pushed the opposition around all afternoon included Mr Ballinger, Mr O'Brien, Mr Rawlins and Mr Bladon (Avg age 56).
The opposition included 5 or 6 vets and more than a sprinkling of youngsters, especially in the backs. However Kenilworth got off to a superb start when from the kick off Mark Powell caught the kick off and in the first contact lay crumpled in a heap; his scream being heard in Whitby. A panicked Mr Doe on the side-line realised he might be called in to play for 79 minutes. Fortunately Powelly recovered and Kenilworth started to exert pressure on their opposition. The backs including Gary Stephens, Glyn Owen, Wayne Morgan, Will O'Meara, Mark Bennett, Jimmy Middleton and Dave Kennell linked well with the forwards to send Captain Fountain in for a try, after some excellent work from Chris Riley and Jai Purewall. The attempt at a conversion by Wayne Morgan clearly indicated the need to outscore the opposition by lots of tries. Unfortunately Jimmy Middleton; youngest back on the pitch by 9 years left the pitch when the pace got too much for him.
Dave Kennell was next to score. One of the fantastic costs from the 1980's Dave still has some pace and when Owen slipped a pass to Dave on the opposition 22 he scythed through the opposition backs to score near the posts. Unfortunately he pulled a fetlock and had to be replaced by Andy Povey, finally back in the side after being loaned out to any opposition who will have him. Amazingly, Wayne Morgan slotted the conversion. The forwards were winning every 50 50, Chris Riley and Captain Founts drove at the opposition and when the ball came out to the backs Pove was in the right place to catch and score in the same week as an eclipse. This made the score 17-0 and those younger alickadoos could do nothing but admire this excellent display.
However, anyone who watches Kenilworth will know we go through periods of sleepiness and some sloppy play let Scarborough in for an unconverted try. The Kenilworth forwards including Danny Rawlins and Nick Collett were now in full flow and continually driving at the opposition. At a resultant scrum Captain Founts broke off at No8 and found gaps in the backs. At the resultant ruck Stephens managed to sling out a pass which (to his utter amazement) found the backs in space. This time Jez Barnard, another dazzling colt from the 1980's side, playing his first game for 16 years went over for a try.
The unsporting chants of "easy, easy" from the balcony seemed to galvanise Scarborough into action, aided and abetted by some interesting Kenilworth defence. Will O'Meara, usually solid in defence managed to stub his toe rather than kick the ball and Scarborough scored a converted try. Captain Founts undid some of his earlier work by butchering an overlap when he made a forward pass. Glyn Owen mixed some utter brilliant touch finders with a couple which went directly into touch.
In the second half Scarborough came out firing on all cylinders. From another piece of sustained pressure Scarborough scored to make it 22-17. Back they came again and with a tiring Kenilworth side, not at all worn down by whole day and night on Shandies scored again to make the game 22-22. However there were some excellent moments of defence; Rick Homer tackling their no 8 worthy of mention. In addition Pove (playing with purpose) made an excellent tackle on the Scarborough winger when all the bets were on a score. Richard Bennett, at 59 was brought on to add youth to the backs. Glyn Owen then made sure of the Parrott when another kick went directly into touch and he was awarded this accolade on the totting up system. In addition Nick Collett, front row forward, disgraced the front row profession when he attempted, very badly, to kick the ball. Mr Collett was heard to say later, "It was the right decision (to kick), poorly executed". Advice: leave the kicking to the pretty boys...
Into the last quarter the game hung in the balance. In the backs Paddy Flavelle came on and managed to miss everyone with his pass which landed on the coastal path. Now playing at fullback Mark Bennett tidied up every kick and ran back at Scarborough with purpose. It was the Kenilworth forwards; strengthened by the legend that is Bruce Doe and the legend that is not, Andy Honess who helped drive Kenilworth on. Chris Riley also returned adding some guile and pace to the forwards which earned him man of the match. The scrummage had been superb all afternoon and it was no surprise at a scrum on the Scarborough five metre line when Captain Founts drove over, swatting tacklers away to make it 29-22.
In the final minute sustained pressure from Kenilworth sealed the game. The forwards picked and drove, picked and drove and the jovial policeman that is Powelly went over near the posts for his first try since 2006.
At the final whistle the smile of knowing why you still play was on every Pirates face; especially those who had played the full 80. Everyone in the team had played their part and the game had been well refereed and played in a fantastic, yet competitive spirit. Kenilworth treated Scarborough to some cracking after game entertainment which included a guitar playing and signing competition led by Andy Honess, Jez Barnard and a young returning Scarborough 1st XV player, Jack. The entertainment was supported by a very animated version of "Delilah", delivered by PC Plod.