By All Accounts a Spirited Team Performance
Three quarters of the match played on the second team pitch to allow ambulance to attend injury on first team pitch
Many apologies for those expecting detailed analysis of Baildon's bonus point victory over Stocksbridge. Unfortunately, your intrepid reporter spent almost the entire match stabilising the neck of an injured player, thereby missing (I am assured) a thrilling and spirited Baildon performance.
I could just make it up like normal, but I am miffed that I missed the match of the season and this has somewhat stifled my creative juices.
Baildon kicked off with the wind at their backs. I noted great charges from Adam Hewitt, Guy Price, Joe Robinson and Chris Peel leading by example from the start, before a potentially serious neck injury to Stockbridge's Tom Spencer required your reporter's full attention pending the arrival of the ambulance.
I gleaned nuggets from Coach Robbie Hill, club captain Dan Cookson, the experienced World Cup winner David Jeanes and seasoned supporter Andy Greaves.
The nub is that the forwards played well and won set piece, including several turnover scrummages against the head. The backs played with ambition and tries were scored out wide. The players were positive, believed and are growing in confidence. Energy and commitment on the training paddock has been carried over to match day.
I was told Nick Lister continues to play with authority and class, dictating the game. That the choice of captain for the day of Joe Robinson was inspired, Joe never taking a backward step and commanding the respect of players. The further example of players like Chinny Tomlinson, prepared to offer themselves at a number of different playing positions, is positive with a great impact on team morale.
The score was 0-0 when the match had to be moved to the second team pitch on the account of injury.
I am not sure who scored the first try, but even from where I was lying I could hear the scorer complaining about the state of the M62 as he crossed the whitewash. I deduce the scorer was Adam yooooo it's the weekend Hewitt. Try converted by Ollie Williams. (7-0)
Further points came through the boot of Ollie Williams with a penalty. (10-0)
Stocksbridge narrowed the deficit with a penalty of their own before half time. (10-3 HT)
Baildon turned around into the stiff breeze and scored through hooker Matt Dixon who had caused confusion in the Stocksbridge ranks by no longer laying claim to the title "the prettiest hooker in Yorkshire rugby" on account of a haircut so severe that there are rumours that Dixon has joined the French Foreign Legion. These rumours were augmented by Dixon addressing Joe Robinson with the phrase "oui mon Capitan" at every opportunity. (15-3)
Two wind assisted long range Stocksbridge penalties kept the visitors interested. (15-6) (15-9)
A yellow card was awarded to a Stocks player for a deliberate knock on with the try line beckoning for the Jenny Laners.
A sweetly timed Ollie Williams long pass found Zack Orrell loitering with intent on the wing and able to flop over for Baildon's third try. (20-9)
Harrison "Hamstring" Strauss nick named "deep heat" for his rubefacient addiction claimed Baildon's bonus point try, converted by Ollie Williams. (27-9)
At the final whistle the visitors claimed a consolation try. (27-14 FT)
Thanks to players, coaches, volunteers and supporters from both teams.
The referee was excellent with admirable regard for player welfare. The game was stopped immediately that a neck injury was suspected and medical assistance summoned with minimal delay. A particular thanks to the staff from both sides that took turns to hold the neck of the injured player with in-line stabilisation that would make the RFU Immediate Care in Sport Course's assessors proud. There was humour too. As space foil, curtains, training tops, blankets were piled on the stricken player, followed by oxygen clipped to the neck brace, Chris WIlliams quipped "it's just like playing buckaroo". It's at times like these that the fellowship of our great sport draws opposing teams together.
We are pleased to record that Tom Spencer is reported well, with only soft tissue injury and discharged home to the care of his partner after a short evening stay at the local A&E department. Tom will recover well from his injury, but may have to adjust to the emotional scars caused by wearing my Baildon bobble hat to keep warm. Sorry 'bout that.