...to a glorious season.
Loughborough RFC 3rd XV finished off their 2011/12 campaign with a seventy-six try romp over visitors Hinckley. Eleven tries, nine of them converted, was a fitting end to a season where over one hundred players have been used, nearly fifty have scored and the Leicestershire Division One league title was secured into the bargain.
2011/12 was also a tale of two captains, Dave Macdonald having to retire the position after his job was moved overseas and Darren Willoughby took over the reins just before Christmas.Both skippers can take great credit for an enjoyable and successful season.
Willoughby, son of the late, great club stalwart Paul Willoughby was a very proud man after the season’s climax at Derby Road on Saturday. Twenty-two matches, twenty wins. A fantastic record for any side and testament to the hard work put in by Darren since he took over the job.
Hinckley looked formidable opposition on Saturday, easily winning the Battle of The Bulge up front with one of the biggest packs Boro’ have faced this season. Loughborough though were not daunted and battled hard in the early exchanges to secure possession.
Young James Squires was a welcome addition to this week’s squad, filling the number three shirt (no mean feat) after the Colts’ opposition had cried off on Friday afternoon. Squires’ mop of curly blonde hair made a late bid for 3s hair of the season, but it was eventually beaten off by two others who cannot be named until the Players’ Dinner on Friday April 27th. (Speak to Daz for more details if you have yet to buy your ticket).
Out wide there was no comparison, Boro’ carving through almost at will with a mix of guile, speed, dwarfism and Craig McFadden’s expensive blue hamstring tape. Epic stuff from Jamie ‘Gok Wan’ Oliver down the left flank.
Boro’ enjoyed the breeze at their backs during the first half and mixed up an expansive game with some clever kicking from Dan ‘Downstairs’ Crumplin, keeping the visitors on their heels as well as their toes. (See what I’ve done there?)
Crumplin was enjoying his 22nd birthday and an assured all round display saw off Hinckley just as efficiently as he saw off a very, very nasty pint scrounged/bought/designed/ordered by that scrawny ginger clown Andrew Rooie Ash. Some friend!
Although the scoring slowed a little in the second stanza, Boro’ stiil ended up breaking the seventy point barrier for the third time this season, Jimmies 2s and Old Wheatleyans 2s and being the previous victims back in September and October respectively.
The individual honours were grabbed by; Tom Joyce (3 tries), Jimmy Stewart (2), Rowan Paterson, Darren Wiloughby, Tom Hamilton, Dan Jamieson, Craig Mcfadden and Jason Harriman. Crumplin added nine conversions and a solitary penalty goal with his Size 4 ½ right boot.
The visitors stroked over a penalty of their own on the hour mark after a rare foray into Loughborough territory. Thus they at least spared themselves the ignominy of a whitewash.
Other notable things from Saturday?
Tom Joyce wearing Navy Blue shorts. (Navy shorts = hat-trick, stick with it bag man).
James Sedgwick being yellow carded after running on with the water. (This was later rescinded and issued to the very violent figure of Tom Hamilton).
Mat Nurse NOT being yellow carded!
Darren Willoughby creeping / begging for a pass to score a try just so he could eek ahead of me in the points chart. Twunt.
Matt Jennaway leading the tackle count for the umpteenth (out of umpteen) time this season.
Alan Tsang’s excellent action shot photography of a jubilant champagne (?) spraying team. (*Anybody wanting an acid peel skin treatment see Darren for one of his bottles of fizz).
The presence (yet again) of top supporters Philip Burbidge and Steve Barnes on the touchline.
Sedge struggling to reel off more than three numbers in the lineout warm-up without getting confused. Very confused.
I think that’s about it for 2011/12.
See you all at the Dinner.
Your faithful reporter/waterboy/teeboy/pensioner/twelve minute cameo;