Carnforth RUFC 2nd XV vs BAe Warton RUFC 1st XV
Carnforth High School, Saturday 31st March 2012
The majority of BAe Warton RUFC arrived in style on Saturday having travelled up the M6 in ‘Miss Katie’ a rather splendid Mercedes 16-seater owned by Coastal Coaches
– not, unfortunately, a dodgy lap-dancer from 10s. Although Carnforth High School is not an ideal rugby venue, the changing rooms are probably the nicest we’ll see all season, even though the memory will be spoiled for those of us unfortunate enough to witness Louis’ rather convincing impersonation of a 16 year-old school girl. No, don’t ask.
Any way, to the rugby. The Warton squad was strengthened by the last minute inclusion of Kieron Loughnane and Bob Stalker, a mate of Bradley’s home from University, and lined up as; Tom Neville
, Stu Gornall
and Mick Mortimer on the front row, Rhys Hanmer and Andy Swales
in the 2nd row and a very dangerous looking back row of Louis Mower
, James ‘evy’ Everett and Ben ‘Trigger’ Rigg. Lee Williams
was back in his preferred position at scrum-half with Ben Wright
at No10. A revised back-division comprised Ken Harrison, Matt Abbott-Hull, Mark ‘Cappo’ Capstick and Michael Dean with James Cunningham
at full-back. This squad rotation meant that Warton also had a very strong bench comprising Kieron Loughnane, Bob Stalker and Bradley Powell
The game started in perfect conditions which played very much into the hands of Warton’s younger, fitter and much, much quicker players. The pattern for the day was set by Stu Gornall
going over for the first of his hat-trick of tries, converted by Louis. From the re-start Louis caught the ball on the full and ran though the entire Carnforth team to score under the posts, leading to another conversion. There were only 10 minutes gone, the writing was on the wall and it didn’t look a pretty picture from the Carnforth end of the pitch.
After 20 minutes there was then an unfortunate accident involving Mark Capstick
and one of the Carnforth players who badly damaged his knee. An ambulance was called and the game was suspended for 10 minutes whilst the unfortunate player received treatment. At the time of going to print the lad is still in hospital and we all wish him well.
However, the sight of a fellow player getting hurt didn’t seem to deter Stu, who, having received a tapped penalty some 30 or so meters out absolutely flattened a would be tackler before going over for his second. There were looks of shock and resignation amongst the Carnforth players as they picked their player up and trudged back beneath the posts to watch Louis’ third successful kick.
Shortly afterwards Mark Cappo made a successful bid for Dick-of-the-Day by claiming a ‘try’ after firmly doting the ball down over the 5 metre line! After half an hour Tom Neville
, complaining of ‘a broken toe’, was replaced by Bradley Powell
on the front row. And Ben Wright
exchanged brute force for elusive running to cut through the Carnforth defence to score another individual try. Louis’ fourth conversion made the score 28-0.
With the final play of the 1st half Lee Williams
re-defined the term ‘unopposed’ as he took a quick penalty and sprinted off to score under the posts whilst every single Carnforth player simply stood and watched him do it. Louis then proceeded to wind the Carnforth full-back up by doing the ‘throwing a bit of grass in the air’ thing – on a perfectly still, breathless day – directly in front of the posts. In spite of the showboating – he slotted over his fifth kick out of five to make it 35-0 at the half.
The Management, who’d just made it back from the pub in time to witness the kick-off, didn’t really have much to say at half time – other than to bring Kieron Loughnane on for Mike Dean and Bob Stalker on to make his Warton debut replacing Rhys Hanmer in the 2nd row. And by way of an experiment, Louis and Mark ‘Cappo’ swapped places in the centre and on the back-row.
The second half began as the first had finished with Lee going over for his second – and Louis converting. Sorry if this is a bit boring – but it was that sort of game; individual try, Louis converts, individual try, Louis converts, individual try . . . you get the idea.
There then followed an episode that was funny at the time – but had, it now turns out, serious consequences. For some reason Jimbo took our first, and hopefully our last, quick throw-in - straight to an opposition centre. In the ensuing chaos Matt Abbott-Hull got back to recover, tackled the player and somehow managed to scoop the ball out of play, but in doing so seriously injured himself. We all thought at the time that Matt had simply pulled his hamstring but (according to MD, who seems to know these things) it appears that he’s possibly fractured his pelvis – which sounds bloody painful. If you’re reading this Matt, we obviously all wish you a very speedy recovery.
By this stage passing the ball was simply no longer an option – so it was about time for Mr Powell to get on the score sheet. In typical style, and showing a fair turn of pace for a big lad, Bradley finished off an arching run to take the score up to 47 – Louis’ seventh out of seven making it 49-0.
By now Tom’s ‘broken toe’ had healed sufficiently for him to come back on replace a tiring Mick Mortimer on the front-row. As Warton continued to dominate in all phases of the game, Mark Cappo nabbed the one and only 3/4s try of the day by out sprinting the Carnforth defence – Louis taking his personal tally up to 21 points. Although, thinking about it, Cappo was playing on the back-row at the time – so I guess that’s another one for the forwards.
At 56-0 it was probably fair to say that the game was safe. But still the tries kept coming. Stu Gornall
completed his hat-trick – but then, shock-horror, Louis actually missed the conversion as the ball fell off the tee just as he was about to kick it.
then scored a try of just awesome power as he fought off 4 Carnforth tacklers on his way to the line. Louis was back in the groove with his ninth conversion.
With 5 minutes remaining we witnessed a piece of rugby magic from Michael Dean as he fielded a kick just outside of the Warton 22 and, with less than a metre to work with, rifled a perfect kick some 40 metres down field, one bounce and into touch.
In the 78th minute Louis rounded off his brilliant all-round performance with another solo effort from well inside the Warton half. Although his final kick, probably the hardest of the lot, just fell short, his personal tally of 28 points made him both ours and Carnforth’s choice as Warton’s Man-of –the-Match.
The final score was 0-73 - comprising 11 tries and 9 conversions.
Man-of-the-Match = Louis Mower
Dick-of-the-Day = Mark ‘Cappo’ Capstick, for the try that never was.