HRUFC A team traveled to Yorkshire Maine RUFC as guests in the annual pre-season tournament with the hosts & Barnsley.
On arrival they were met with changing facilities that had clearly provided the inspiration for the toilet scene in Trainspotting, to where new skipper Baxter retired to consider a very unusual problem – having to actually pick a team from the assembled masses.
The first game against Barnsley was a keenly fought affair, Huddersfield initially struggling to come to terms with the new laws, especially the one about swinging arms now apparently being allowed in the tackle. We eventually prevailed by about 4 tries to nil, typically heroic A Team defence characterized by superb cover defence from the back three to keep Barnsley at bay with the last play of the game.
An apathetic team talk before the next game led to a slow start against Yorkshire Maine who held us at bay until just before half time, the A team eventually running out winners by about 4 tries to 1, a late score by the home side leading to squeaky bum time before winger Greg Maumbe made a miraculous recovery from two bouts of life threatening cramp to score in the corner with the last play of the game.
All in all a cracking to start to the season with outstanding performances from Toby Walker who was a handful in the loose, an extremely spritely Iain Shelton & customarily brilliant George Hinchliffe. Returning fly half Matt Johnson coped admirably with the pies being chucked his way by Steve “ Powerpass” Parry & new man Callum, & Stan & Andy Lyons were outstanding in the centre.
However, the two most notable passages of play involved two unsung heroes.
Firstly Joel Shiels “running” unchallenged not 5, not 10, not 20 but – & I kid you not – at least 30 yards downhill for an outstanding try, involving at least 2 changes of pace (both down), a mild panic attack & a suspected pulled hamstring.
The second involved quinquagenarian Steve Lynch announcing his arrival in Mantown with a hit on the biggest lad in South Yorkshire who was at full tilt having just run through half our pack. Not only did he sit him down, he dislodged both the ball & the lads shoulder. No-one could believe it , least of all the ref who strangely awarded a scrum to the attacking team. Unfortunately our hero had to leave the field shortly afterwards with a serious knee injury, having tripped over a particularly nasty looking daisy.
Onwards & upwards for the mighty A Team !