If there’s grass on the wicket we’re playing cricket !
Well there was plenty grass on the wicket at Heath on Saturday with conditions more akin to cricket than rugby.
Worryingly we arrived in good time & as usual the young bulls ran off to play touch and pass whilst the old bulls retired to lean on a railing & discuss team selection. The main item on the agenda was how to tell Dunc he was dropped. Eventually we decided to take pity on him as he had already had his banana, so he started at scrum half with the mercurial Spike shifted out to full back where he could use his pace to better effect.
We began the game playing as good a rugby as we have in a long time , Ad Lancs (I presume, although Howard Hanks is quickly becoming an equally strong contender for bugliner of the year) getting on the end of a super fast rolling maul after about 5 minutes. Shamazing. A couple of minutes later we scored again, Lancs standing up in the tackle for some silly old goat in the second row to shove him over & touchdown.
From then on it got a bit messier, Heath staying in the game despite living off scraps with some lively & at the same time robust back play. One particular incident saw Stan picked up, driven back over two time zones & dumped on the deck, noggin first. He looked even groggier than usual & so made way for debutant Ned Sykes, over from Australia travelling around Europe doing what 18 year olds do when away from home. As we all know Australia has a reputation for producing world class wingers – think David Campese, think Aussie Andy, don’t think Ned Sykes. He described the experience of having a shower with 15 naked men as one to add to his list of “firsts” on his trip. Funny what passes for normal behavior in a rugby club, innit ?
Heath’s second try came from a speculative chip over the top by one of their backs in the direction of Mr Robin Gledhill of the Holme Valley parish, who was wandering around in back play quietly minding his own business. At this point I must pause & pay tribute to our very own Scruff, or Tasty as he is also known. The quiet man of the team , he is the kind of bloke that every side, nay every society depends upon. Not a Corbyn supporting scrounger but a head down, arse up grafter who seeks no praise or glory. He knows his role in life is to shift, not play pianos & has been playing for us since young Neddles was a twinkle in the milkman’s eye. Now scrummaging behind some props is like pushing blancmange uphill, but not our hero. He is on the pitch to push, shove & lift & has the perfect arse. For a second row’s shoulder.
What he is not on the pitch to do is get involved when an opposition back chips over the top, but, sports fans, that is exactly the position he found himself on this balmy afternoon in South Halifax.
On seeing the flighty chip our hero’s instincts kicked in & he soared like a salmon in spawning season & – with his eyes shut & scrum cap half off – headed the ball perfectly back into the path of the Heath centre who laughingly pouched the nod down & scooted through to score. It was like Shearer down to Lineker back in the good old days when England used to be able to beat Wales & Iceland.
A good game & a good win, notable contributions from the usual suspects & Ad Lancs who took plenty against the head & only really moaned properly once. Chris McWilliam made a big impact in the centres but needs to up his post match chat a bit – he was telling me about a recent survey of the top ten most popular house numbers in Britain & how no.7 had come seventh. Amazeballs.
I’ll leave the last word to one of the A Team’s adoring fans Martin Walker who, whilst enjoying a few post match energy drinks on the balcony in the early autumnal sunshine said … “ at times it was actually good to watch. Well, quite good ”…….