U9s - Report
Caldy Cobras : “We may go down; we may go up; but we never go back"
The storm clouds that began to gather over Hare Lane looked as ominous as the situation appeared for the Caldy Cobras………
Their fortunes were however to change as the sun shone over a pulsating afternoons entertainment. A smattering of veterans from last years ‘Seven’ were joined in the fray by seven other men fine and true who were to give all for the cause.
The day had started badly with a heavy loss to Bowden Rangers who were quick out of the blocks as the weather began to close in. A more even game against Wirral ended in the Cobras losing by the odd try. Never a good thing. A strong Chester A who were to progress to the cup final were too strong for a sodden band who were to limp into the Vase competition licking their wounds.
But you can’t keep a good man down, cometh the hour cometh the men, pick your cliché. It was time to take the bull by the horns and show the determination of last years semi finalists. Could the Cobras stand up and be counted?
A quarter final against Lymm, The Green Machine, beckoned. A team who many an age group would say were Caldy’s’ nemesis, an outfit that are always strong and combative.
Caldy seized the initiative with a touch of class from Ames as he evaded and outpaced the Lymm defence to put down in the corner. As to be expected the Greens came back at full tilt and despite sterling defence from Brown and De Buitlear they equalised. Given Caldy’s earlier displays you could be excused for thinking the game was up against such strong opposition. However this was the new Cobras, full of vim and determination. After more gritty defence and great work from Newell, Ames broke free and once again bamboozled the defence to score in the opposite corner. A sterling defensive effort saw Caldy maintain the 2-1 advantage to the break with the indominatable Jarad being a constant threat.
The second half saw Lymm up the pace and heap the pressure on the Cobras. Surely something would crack and it indeed it did. The Greens drew level. It would appear that there would be only one winner now and it looked as if that would be Lymm as they broke clear, despite some fine work by Dodd, and headed for the line. They hadn’t counted on the determination of Price though as the Caldy man produced an absolutely stupendous try saving tackle. The Lymm faithful could not believe it. They could not believe they were out either as Caldy by dint of their half time lead and first try were the victors. The Caldy boys who suffered the same fate last year could be forgiven a wry smile.
Onwards to a semi final against Winnington Park (B). The games were coming thick and fast. An even contest in which no quarter was asked or given. Caldy scored first through the ever ready Ames after impressive work from Brown and Dodd. The next few minutes would encapsulate the Cobras efforts for the day. Park broke for the line and despite a fine Caldy tackle, looked odds on to score. The ensuing scrambling defence was absolutely immense as each Cobra put his body on the line to keep their try line intact. Repelling wave after wave of attackers and finally making it to half time with the advantage unbroken. Messrs Ames, Brown, De Buitlear, Dodd, Jared, Newell and Price take a bow.
The second half saw Park equalise before a passage of attacking play in which the Cobras matched the intensity of there previous defensive efforts. A flowing move utilising the efforts of quick backs and rampaging forwards saw the ball reach Jarad who headed for the corner and produced a finish of such class as to be breathtaking. Fine reward for a great day’s effort. Park were to pull a try back to level the scores but the Cobras were not to be denied and despite the best efforts of Park, and some would say perhaps the match official (I couldn’t comment obviously), victory was theirs and a final against Winnington Park (A) who had played a game less with a bye through the semi final.
There is one band of men so far unmentioned though. For those of you old enough to remember, the immortal bard (Boyce that is) sang about the Pontypool front row. The famous trio of Faulkner, Windsor and Price. The Cobras front row would not look out of place in such exalted company.
The triumvirate of Fletcher, Dessington and Thompson were absolutely colossal. The number of times they took the game to the opposition was immeasurable. Ever willing to do the hard yards they were relentless from first to last. Their efforts in maul and ruck, in defence and attack deserve massive praise.
“We may go down; we may go up; but we never go back" was the motto of the Pontypool front row. It would sum up the day’s efforts for the Cobras.
After the two previous games, the final was a game too far for the Cobras. Their exertions in getting to the final and the fact that their opponents were rested having played a game less took its toll. Despite their game efforts the Cobras were to lose to the Park A team by five tries. The scoreline was harsh, on another day a few tough decisions would have gone their way.
The final should not detract from a truly magnificent team effort which saw a group which had the strength of character to recover from their poor start and light up the day.
Gentlemen we salute you!