Falcons shine in daylight but lose out to Morley after dusk.
My sincere apologies for being absent last week, I was inundated with desperate fan mail eagerly awaiting my return. Thank you, to Andy Lyon for standing in for me as manager and Josh Cook for doing my captaining duties. A sterling job was done. There was a fair amount of irony in it all. Whilst I was standing on the North Yorkshire coast, staring through the Whitby whale bones, dreaming of what lay beyond the deep blue sea, Captain Cook was leading the A-Team out against the Vandals. As I looked at the half scale replica of ‘The Endeavour’ and admired its flags, Captain Cook and the boys were giving the opposition a damn good ‘Jolly Rogerin’! I also failed to welcome Joe Shiel back from his Irish escapade. So I met up with him in the bar midweek and asked him if his beloved was cross with him for leaving her at the airport and spending a fortune on his trip to his native land. He simply replied, “Nah, she’s very happy coz ‘av gun Aer Lingus!’
The serious stuff. The last Falcons performance was poor. It needed putting right as I’d had to dwell on it for an extra week. The weather was ice cold with a low sun and the omens looked perfect! As everyone knows that revenge is a dish best served cold! It wasn’t Morley’s fault but they were still going to feel the sharpened talons of the Falcons. We had a strong team with Falcons talisman Darren ‘Irish’ Neilly back in the fold. Danny Brough was back from sunning himself in the Med and was positively glowing, like the Tango Man! Joe Hodge, our chief tax dodger, was back in the front row eager to get back to business. Mike Rafferty switched from 10 to 9 to make way for the spectacular Toby Spooner who’s been one of the standout players of the season so far. Oh, and Callum Dyson had made a miraculous recovery from his slightly muddy hand. The cheerleaders will be pleased. The 1’s were at home so we would be playing beyond the magical Lockwood Park arches. The ground was soft and well suited to our large pack. Most of the crowd had an issue getting into the ground so we were just to play in front of 7 fans.
We lined up for kick off but something was missing. We were all here, they were all here, but where was the fella with the whistle? Not to be seen but Shiel was frantically on the phone checking whether the bar was open yet, or maybe where the ref was! Not to worry he was only 15 mins late. He gave us the exact same speech that he’d rehearsed in the mirror, word for word the same as the last time. Toby Spooner, true to form managed to lose both advantages in the coin toss, not that he seemed to care. He was just delighted to be playing the best game in the world with his mates. I was a little concerned about the mood so I chipped in with some heroic nonsense about how the heroes of every war that had ever been had done it solely so we could play this game! It was bound to work on the weak minded! Howard said it was a great speech. Well, it was Remembrance Day.
So we kicked off and they were young fit and keen. A bit too lively for my liking. They looked dangerous but after a few minutes we went to the scrum, our speciality! So we went at them but they didn’t budge, they may even have stolen half an inch off us. It was looking tough. We gained possession but on one of our first carries Joe Hodgson had to be carried off due to a dangly ankle, probably tore 3 or 4 ligaments. Shiel who had heroically dropped himself to let the other lads have some of the limelight, definitely not because of the vicious rumour that he may have been a little hungover! We gained a penalty and kicked the corner. Shiel wanged it to Ben Royds who was our primary jumper. Lifted by myself and but mainly Irish who threw up into the stratosphere! The lineout looked very sharp. Sadly, we turned over the ball and after some sustained pressure, they kicked a penalty. 0-3.
We regrouped and attacked after an excellent kick off from Danny Brough which was caught by Eddie Newman. We attacked and after a scrum Irish surged forward and took 20m. The ruck was cleared and I found myself at the base. The backs screamed for the ball. I decided to do a Shiel and throw an outrageous dummy and then drove over for a try from 7m. Broughy took the extra 2 and we were up and running. 7-3
Then they came back at us, you’re always vulnerable straight after a score. Around 20 mins in they put a neat grubber through and they were likely to get on the end of but then Jamie ‘Cowardly’ Cowie shoved them in the back and was duly shown the yellow! I was appalled, he even had the nerve to suggest that the Ref had got completely the wrong man! Just because he was stood 40m away on the other wing is no excuse, The Ref is always right! A penalty try was awarded and Jamie’s dropped for next week.7-10
Irish was next on the score sheet with a 20m break off the back of a static scrum and managed to score under the posts. Broughy converted. 14-10
This was shortly followed by a defensive error out wide and their young backs managed to score again. 14-17.
Then on the 50 minute mark came the play of the game. They had just taken off VERY impressive prop Addison and replaced him with a younger model. I gave Josh Cook his orders and they were simple, You’ve broken the old prop, now destroy the young one. He did not need to be told twice. Our scrum surged straight forward a good 10m. Irish shot off the back with the ball and I chased him, he got surrounded by cover defenders after about 15M and could see I was slightly slow off the mark so he arced left and I cut his line for a lovely switch and then broke two very weak flailing tackles. With one defender left and virtually no momentum, I got the call! I didn’t mess about, just passed it right, straight away and Broughy burst onto it at hyper speed, the full back looked at him then held his ears in shock from the sonic boom! 21-17.
Next as was the theme of the game they came back at us and after some sustained pressure managed to score, mainly due to 14 penalties for high tackling. Lads, it’s not that hard, you just have to tackle below the laces! Apart from on me, then you’re allowed to swinging arm me to the face and I get penalised for ducking! Simples! I don’t know why we are struggling with it so much. 21-24
The last score came on the 70 minute mark. We gained a penalty for moaning less than Morley and Broughy kicked the corner half a hairs breadth on the right side of the corner flag, like he did so many times. The driven line out was called and Royds disappeared then came back down through the clouds with the ball, we began to form but they were playing silly buggers, I screamed cancel. Half the forwards looked puzzled. Irish reacted quickly and broke off and powered over the line whilst they were appealing to the ref! Broughy missed the kick and the ref blew up on the 75 minute mark. 26-24
There was a little confusion as to whether the game was over but apparently not! It was half time and it was already dark! So, we played the second half in twilight. They upped their game and put a lot of pressure on us, but our heroic defence held up till I made a mess of picking up from 8, 10m from our own line. We defended heroically for another 5 minutes and they knocked on. This time I called an 8/12, yep you guessed it I cocked that up as well. So, after about fifteen minutes of sustained pressure, they took back the lead and I was out of contention for man of the match. Shiel subbed me. 26-31
We put the full compliment of subs on allowing Brisfert Polius Cullan to make his debut at 8. The game finally came to close after they kicked an outrageous drop goal! So, they won the game 26-34, or something close, and we all wandered back in the dark. The game finishing a mere 135 minutes after it was scheduled to start but we did kick off 15 mins late, 3 minutes for Hodgey’s injury and 2 mins for half time. That’s the third timing issue we’ve had in three games. Can somebody please buy the nice refereein’ Society some updated time pieces. I think he really struggled with his sun dial after darkness fell!
In conclusion, we lost but there was a much better feeling about the game this week. Morley were good and we played better than them in many parts of the game but in the end they deserved the win they had earned. There is definitely some team spirit returning to the Falcons and I’m sure things are on the up
Man of The Match…Darren ‘Irish’ Neilly, outstanding (No he’s not available for the 1’s)
The front row were excellent and Ben Royds impressed in the lineout.
Best Student …Andrew Jiri
Dick of the Day..Jamie ‘Coward’ Cowie, clean up your act mate!
Try scorers..George Hinchliff; Darren Neilly x 2; Danny Brough
Yellow cards…Jamie ‘Cowardly’ Cowie.
Written by George Hinchliff