Following the disappointment of Dinnington depriving the Falcons of league rugby this weekend, all involved were thrilled that the clubs fixture secretary Vicky Spiers was able to secure a friendly against local rivals Old Crossleyans.
The challenging pre-game circumstances continued through the morning as numerous players were suddenly stricken with debilitating illness or injury. Furthermore joint manager, chief player stalker and official ale provider Gavin Rhodes was unavailable due to equine commitments in his other capacity as secretary of the Barnsley Shire Horse Society.
Consequently a hard core group of 16 travelled into Elland ready to take on the challenge.
Kicking off on Old Crocs condensed first team pitch, conditions were ideal for the falcons to spread their wings and impose themselves on the opposition.
Sure enough, Huddersfield were able to apply early pressure from the outset. A recurring theme in the Falcons positive start to the season has been the dominant scrum lead by the vastly experienced and handsome Tony ‘the fridge’ Stringwell and young Toby Walker. With the scrum rumbling forward and Bobby Sykes smashing everything that got in his way, that pressure forced Old Crossleyans into an early mistake, which Joe Hawdon pounced upon, travelling 20 meters to score underneath the sticks. Following a pre-game coaching clinic, Scrimshaw decided to forgo coaching advice to employ the Neil Jenkyns mound of sand as a kicking aid and instead reverted to his trusted 50 pence training cone and duly slotted the kick over via the post. 7-0 Huddersfield.
Just as the game restarted, both teams had to adapt to unusual circumstances as the Referee took a tumble which transpired to be a serious injury. With little alternative, both sets of players resigned themselves to this being a short afternoon. Alas, Old Crossleyans legend Andy Day appeared from nowhere with his level one refereeing certificate to hand to rescue the days play. With 800 club appearances this fella is a Yorkshire rugby legend and the fact that he and both sets of players responded so well to circumstances to carry on playing, displays the outstanding nature and spirit in which this glorious sport of ours can be played.
With Frank Van Rooyen’s healing hands taking care of the ref, the lads packed up the post protectors and flags and moved to the bigger pitch.
With the negotiation and diplomacy skills of Ban Ki Moon the Falcons leadership group agreed that the game should restart at the second half. When coupled with the tactical master stroke by skipper Irish to occupy the downhill half of a much larger pitch, the Falcons were provided with the perfect canvass to express their selves and rip it up.
Following kick off our vice-captain Harry suffered a potentially life altering hand injury. Yet again the healing hands of Frank Van Rooyen led to Harry miraculously recovering. After looking at the video footage it seems Frank used the Mr Miaggi hand clap and rub healing technique to Harry’s relief. After that the second half started with Huddersfield moving effortlessly through 8 phases of play which was rounded off with Brook spotting the narrowest of gaps, pivoting to achieve the perfect body angle before utilising his trademark power to explode over the line from 18 inches.
Huddersfield were then outstanding in the second half executing play patterns and the game plan as per pre game instructions with Scrimshaw pulling the strings.
Tries from Toby Walker and Danny Copley capped excellent performances. A hollywood try by TVR where he sought out contact at opportunity cancelled out the fact that he turned up with an interesting haircut and seemed to be impersonating Tommy Shelby’s new enforcer. #Upthebeakyblinders.
Club stalwart Jack McPhail played his first game of the season. Clearly enthusiastic his new profession as a chef seems to have ignited the angry side of Jack who rallied the lads applying Gordan Ramseyesque motivation techniques.
A final mention to young Alex Molyneux who was again outstanding on the wing scoring a superb try in which he ran around all 29 players twice to score a try under the post. A second try followed before what seemed to be a deliberate act of hat-trick avoidance before the final whistle. With a court session due in the next couple of weeks I suggest this young man should expect a long evening in court.
A final score of 52-0 reflected the gulf between the teams but what privilege to be welcomed by a great club and set of lads.
At the final whistle Stringwell lavished the boys with praise and asked Brook to lead the lads with a chant to finish. We are encouraging player led approach in the Falcons but didn’t anticipate Brook renaming the team the Fieldcons.
Privilege to be involved. Roll on next week. #Upthefieldcons