Round 9 of the much vaunted BMW Bateman premier league and the intrepid Broughton Park Griffins hosted affluent Cheshire money-pit Macclesfield rugby club.
Park’s Dynamic leader and rugby mastermind Neil Parkin
had to attend the Alton Towers scare fest, however the real horror show was about to be witnessed by the ever loyal, if diminishing, Park faithful as Mac’s Mercenaries butcher the Griffins for the majority of the game.
The money men would not have it all their own way though, much to their surprise; the first 10 minutes belonging exclusively to the men in Tunnel and White. Surprising Mac’s sense of superiority and natural entitlement was only matched by their lack of physical effort.
The Cheshire-ites where a good 5 to 10kgs a man greater than their Park opposition, so the early success Park had in contact around the breakdown was unexpected.
Trev lead the charge of the Minnows with a hit of the kick off that set the tone for the next few passages of play. The Macc’ complacency led to two penalties and even a turnover in the scrum.
The Park inflicted punishment finally paid off with when outside centre Ian cut through the line on a hard switch with fly half Carpenter to produce the first score of the game to cheers of “ hooray!!!! We’re adequate!!!”
Park then had a chance to add to their unlikely lead when after committing successive penalties. Trev elected to kick for the posts, which proceeded to drift wide.
This may well of been symbolic of what was to come next, after a short exchange of inconsequential plays the ball found its way in to the hands of Mac’s inside centre, showing more creativity then an Enron accountant he carved up the park defence and slipped under the posts for what looked like an effortless try.
Parks just had a dose of reality so hard hitting it felt like an Al Hodge come down, the harsh facts where that if your opposite man is 3 inches taller, 10kg heavier and gets paid to play your hobby you will in for a day longer than a Jason Duffey tantrum.
Worse still, the Macc’ Players also finally realised this, and combined with the threat of losing their banker size win bonus, started to actually play some nice rugby.
Mac’s game plan was simple; let Ivan Drago scrummage and then pass it to Sideshow Bob. In fairness it worked brilliantly for the next 20 minutes as Park leaked a further 3 tries.
Macc relied on their inside centre more than the Eurozone relies on Germany, and other than his flashes of brilliance and the dominant scrum Macc’ offered very little else. So provided Park could avoid scrums and keep the Toploader/Sideshow Bob love-child quite maybe, just maybe, Park could right there listing ship. To a large extent Park managed the game well and were presented with scoring opportunity’s. Ian had a try ruled as a knock on and Pedr had a try called held up.
The Park upstarts where so upsetting Mac’s sense of entitlement the game started to become a bit heated with several off the ball incidents. As both teams became ever more agitated Glen Foley found himself in passionate embrace with his opposite number. The team’s part-time hard man quickly measured up the situation and decided to intervene. However, being part time means exactly that and JBs shift abruptly finished when Ivan Drago showed up. Realising he had more chance of beating HAL 9000 at chess JB threw a token punch and then rolled into a ball allowing some of his more robust team mates to take up the slack.
Thankfully Half time quickly followed.
Second half was somewhat less gallant than the first. Once more JB found himself in the action, following on of his regular breaks chatting to the outside backs the ball was quickly shipped wide of a turn over and found its way to the cardio vascularly challenged second row, more than likely seeing Ivan drago out of the corner of his eye he started running like a frightened Mustang into open field, then showing all the composure and co-ordination of a of a Deer with several hundred volts running though it launched a straight to the feet of Captian Trev, almost certainly costing Park a further 5 points
Despite the letting another scoring opportunity slip buy Park had another period of good play and once more looked in the ascendency in term of position and momentum of the game.
As the game wore on certain individuals started to rise above the rest of the crowd. New boy Mike Stevens was having a solid game at 12 and Glen Foley was doing a fine job of disrupting play and getting under the skin of the opposition. It is worth noting to that despite giving away several metric tonnes to his opposite man George was having another fine game at Lose head prop.
Despite periods of good play from Park, Macc’ managed to score a try from a very clever short line out. It was also the only time in the entire match that Macc’ scored without direct intervention of their inside centre. Like Amy Winehouse’s last drink this score was one too many and effectively ended the game as a contest.
Macc’ started to ring the changes as the physical nature of the game took its toll. Macc’ second row came off with blisters to his feet as his boot money started to rub and number 11 was replaced with some equally bored of watching their Rebecca Brooks doppelganger dismantle Park.
Mostly for comedy reasons JBL was also introduced to the action and unfortunately for Park Tony Carpenter was also removed from the actions meaning a massive back line shake up.
All of this was inconsequential as in the last 5 Mac scored a further 3 trys, 2 going once more to 12 ending his day with a mere 5 tries and 2 assists.
Final score Mac 22 plus Rebecca Brooks 35 = 57 Park 10
Eddy MacDonnagh was present