Bakewell Domninate Contest (With a Little Help From Some Friends)
Following their ‘underwhelming’ performance against the Tigers and their coaching staff’s less than helpful assessment of Bakewell’s chances against a rested Abbeydale outfit, Bakewell’s potential fortunes superficially receded further when the ‘volunteer’ from the Abbeydale ranks to don the prized blue hooped Mannerian colours, one Harley Lakin, was probably the smallest child on the field. ‘Couldn’t you have got a bigger one?’ the less than helpful suggestions from the disgruntled Bakewell contingent on the sidelines forgetting that age old adage; something about ‘Books,’ ‘Covers’ & ‘Judging.’
Coach Fitzsimmons had however appeared to have gotten the message through with his pre-match talk as from the tap Bakewell gave the ball straight to winger Eddie Finnay for what was probably his first touch of the day. Hesitating momentarily (No doubt bemused as to what he was now holding) Finnay took off; sidestepping any would be Abbeydale tacklers before grounding in the corner for a first score. Any fears that Bakewell has a ‘Make weight’ in the form of Harley were soon disabused at the restart; a thumping tackle against one of his former teammates halted Abbeydale’s advance in its tracks. The subsequent scrum unfortunately saw another Stephenson injury; this time the neck and unlike the previous week where Dan had gamely continued, he unfortunately signalled that he could take no further part.
Another volunteer was sought from the Abbeydale ranks to pull on one of the now cherished blue hooped Bakewell shirts. Will Gladwin and school mate of Harley the first to step forward. A groan went up from Abbeydale ranks as a smirking Gladwin took to the field taking position next to Max Webber in the Bakewell backs as they knew what might transpire (As did Webber; happy for once to greet Will as a team mate and not be knocking lumps out of each other as in past matches between their respective schools). Abbeydale fears were immediately realised as a quick fire brace of tries from a rampaging Gladwin instantly put Bakewell three tries to the good. Indeed Will came extremely close to a hat trick for his adopted team only to be denied by some desperate and has to be said more than robust last ditch tackling from his erstwhile colleagues. Harrison Butterworth finally got the try he deserved with a driving run from the base of a Bakewell scrum to make it four tries to nil at the break.
At the turnaround the mercenary Gladwin demonstrated that ruthless element Bakewell at times lack, ripping the ball from an Abbeydale player before crossing for a Bakewell fifth. Deemed either too good (Or the score line too embarrassing for the travelling Abbeydale) Gladwin was ‘hooked,’ leaving the pitch as he’d arrived; beaming. ‘Good job they didn’t come on a team coach’ observed one of the grateful Bakewell supporters.
Buoyed by the absence of the talismanic Gladwin in their opponent’s ranks Abbeydale rallied and in a neat passage of play spun the ball out wide to their winger who showed remarkable speed in evading the depairing Bakewell cover to touch down in the corner. Galvanised by the impudence of this attack Bakewell responded immediately; another Ed Finnay run made good yards before knocking on in the tackle. All was not lost as with Bakewell winning possession at the scrum, Tom Mayhew arrowed in for Bakewell’s sixth. With Bakewell starting to play with an abandon not seen for some time Max Webber got in on the act; a good forward run evading several tacklers before recycling to Mayhew who finished for his second of the day and Bakewell’s seventh. From Abbeydale’s next possession a thumping Webber tackle forced the ball from Abbeydale hands; Ed Finnay scooping up the present for his second and Bakewell’s eighth. Not to be outdone Abbeydale’s other interloper Harley Lakin showed a great turn of speed with a fantastic run down the wing which set up the final score of the day; a close range strike from Joe Fitzsimons ending the day as he’d started. William Adlington was declared Man of the Match for his stirling drives forward in both games, all the more remarkable due to his comparative lack of experience.
Final Score Bakewell 9: Abbeydale 1.