This was the intellectual mating call of the natives at Hope Valley on Saturday everytime one of our players got the ball. Well fortunately we managed to survive the game although we were heavely beaten we never stopped trying right to the end.
Due to injuries and unavailabiity up the teams the 5's had to concede the game against Littleboro and instead we played as the 4's against Hope Valley who are two divisions above us. In fact not long after we arrived at Hope Valley forwards were on the scrummaging machine. Most of our players had never even seen one before never mind have a go on one. Likewise our warm up was a game of keepie-uppy, theirs was hitting tackle bags. The last time we were here was just before Chritmas and scraped a wn over a mixture of there ones & twos players. This time against there 1st it was always gong to be difficult. On leaving Park we had lost Leo to the 2's and Barts who due to work could not make it in time but fortunately Tim Reed
did make it so we had competitive scrums. In fairness most of the first half we were going backwards but Vinny at scrumhalf battled manfully to get the ball away. By the end of the game we wer holding our own in the scrums as Hope Valley used all their five subs. The game was barely five minutes old and we were 0-7 down and Cesaire had picked up another ankle injury. Fortunately he stayed on and from an intercept on our 22 line Bill set off and as he was being caught he fed inside to Ces who scored despite sturggling with the ankle. Back came Hope Valley to go 14-7 up before a good line out throw by James Durkan
to James Mac to Vinny to KOB, with Kegs taking the pass 30 meters out cut back at the angle to reach out and just score. 12-14.
The Hope Valley scored four unanswered tries mainly with strong forward play and then releasing their backs. This was then followed by a drop goal (sad when you are 40 points ahead) so we were 12-45 down but on the stoke of half time from a good ruck ball the ball was moved wide with Ben O’B beating his man and putting Cesaire in at the corner. 19-45.
It had been a difficult first half but some sterling defence by Joe Noone
, Kami, Jack and Yonner out in the loose and Tim, Steve, James Durkan
and James Mac in the tight kept the score down,and with Kegs and Ben O'B trying to find openings against a well oganised defence we kept looking for opportunaties.
Second half we were going downhill but conceded a try in the right hand corner. 19-50. Back we came and never stopped trying to create openings. In the end after good pressure from Olly, Yonner forced his way over in the corner to open his account for the season. 26-50. We the lost Ben O'B to an injury so on to the field came our saviour Franco. On this occasion it was not the case because Hope Valley score two more tries before the end of the game, finishing 26-64.
Well at leat one person was happy from Park, I think his name is Del. The rest off us took the defeat but with a good amont of positives. Especially the way we kept at it right to the end and the effort everyone put in especially the younger lads and the lads who are new to the game and the team this season.
We then had a shower, and fortunately plenty of hot water this time and the back to the pub for grub and beers. Vinny was not impressed with the cottage pie he said it was tasteless so we had to buy him a packet of monster munch to add flavour. Franco was extremely upset that it wasn’t shepherds pie as he had been eying the sheep up all day! Then to make matters worse the ex park player Martin Spencer who had played against us lost the pint of Guinness and mars bar challenge which proved it definitely was not to be our day.
Anyway next week back to our proper league Division 5 East. None of this messing about with the big league.
P.S. Bill did not score again.