3rd XV MATCH REPORT 2011-2012/12
SHIPSTON – 17TH DECEMBER 2011
Another Feast day, with regulars bolstered with Glynn Owen, the welcome return of Paddy and a brace of 17year-olds, forms signed sealed and delivered to Willie, the Club Secretary, so the Club, and my considerable Arse were covered.
We arrived at Shipston high on last weeks VICTORY and the prospect of a young, agile and pace-laden backline, shepherded by Paddy and Glynn, Mothers Goose and their Rubber Duckies. We also had a decent pack, with subs, and thankfully, a replacement for me, as I was suffering from manflue and an injured foot (the latter sounds really pathetic, but it hurt!). Heroically, however, I changed, just in case.
Shipston 2’s were already out, warming up and running through their moves. We ignored them.
As the whistle sounded for the start, Shipston soon showed their superiority, with some great rugby, running through to score early, but out wide, the attempt at conversion failing. We up’d our efforts, repeatedly making great inroads into their Territory, but their defense held, turned us over and ran the ball back into ours. Fortunately, our defense was generally good, backs and forwards closing them down and limiting their try count. Again, however, once the opposition got up steam our tackling failed us and they scored. The first half ended with us a distant second, but still within sight??
Wholesale changes at the interval, from second row backwards, the older, more disillusioned legs coming off, with newer ones (except Bruce’s) going on, significantly to change the dynamic. A Churchillian interval talk from moi and from the off, the second half, was a different half.
We competed hard, the pace, frightening and the tackling fierce, from both sides. Unfortunately their defense remained strong and we were unable to break through. However, neither were they, most of the time? The score finished at 40’ish nil. Not our worst defeat, but we came a distant second.
Dick of the Day must go to Povey (A), who with Parrot’esq eloquence, passed the ball so far forward the ref on the 1st team pitch blew up! He then, like a duck with a broken wing, tried to gain some sympathy (and hope that we would forget) by going off with a pulled fetlock. He spent the rest of the game limping back from the far side of the pitch.
Other moments include:
Tommy & Rhys Jones, looping (I think that’s what it’s called?) round and around across the pitch, passing only to themselves. Your Dad was so so proud.
Guy Hook, bitch-slapping, and missing, as he reversed out of a Ruck, to be presented with a new, freshly ironed, yellow card.
Andy Bladon, beaming himself all over the pitch, red-hair flowing in the breeze, snotting all in his path. Proud Father, you better believe it.
Guy Hook, receiving a ‘virtual red card’, told by the Ref, to go away, shortly before the final whistle.
Bruce Doe, like a guilty schoolboy, sheepishly helping himself to the cherry Haribo on the bar after the game, which was free anyway.
The only downer on the day, in my opinion, was Shipston’s behaviour towards the end of the game. We were playing hard, making a game of it, but over 40 points adrift, yet they felt the need for repeated cheap-shots? This culminated in the incident at the end of the game, where one of our U17’s, put in a great tackle and brought to ground a much bigger guy. Releasing his grip, he was rewarded with a deliberate elbow in the face, followed by a couple of punches. Seeing this, Guy Hook charged in to defend his teammate and during the momentary flare up before the ref caught up with ‘play’ and blew the final whistle, Andy Bladon was punched in the back of the head. Very brave you cowardly B******’s. Many thanks must go to Joe & Sam Ballinger, Tommy & Rhys Jones, Harry Philpot, Josh Hickman and Andy Bladon. You are welcome at any time.
Next League game away vs Newbold, KO at 2.15pm on 7th January 2012, so meet at 12.30pm, to leave at 1.00pm (it’s at least a 30min drive).
However, there is a game on the Main Pitch at Kenilworth on Boxing Day. This will basically be an U25’s vs an O25’s, but realistically whoever turns up will be split into two teams. I hope it will be a full contact affair. Meet at the Club 11.30am, KO around 12.00. If you’re interested contact either Ross Lowthian (07884 033750), Tony Philpot (07967 592018) or Bruce Doe (07595 893825)