The final game of this part of the season has eventually come and it’s been a battle to get here. From winning games easily, the boys are now playing teams that are better matched to their ability. Apart from the obvious, games have been close and supporters have often had nail biting issues come 11.30 on a Sunday morning. Was today going to be different? Well, no!
The game went one way and then another – with the lead changing hands 5 times over the course of the game. After 40 minutes, revenge was taken and the Benchwarmers had prevailed 12-10. The last game of the season was a win and it was an impressive performance from the whole team. Tackling was back to its best. The backs were looking to release the wide men and not play through the middle. Everything that was asked of them in training was delivered.
At training yesterday, there was a need to do some positional juggling. A certain young man who started life as prop has emerged as a notable replacement in the backs and in the crucial position at full back. Step forward Mr Danny Doyle. Without fuss or issue he stepped up to the plate and was formidable.
Paddy performed at his best with some crunching tackles and a fantastic impression of a bulldozer as he went forward with ball in hand. Mr Consistent in terms of attitude and performance.
Michael W became the Josh Charnley of the team stepping into the kicking shoes of our own Pat Richards. Despite being thwarted by a swirling wind, he made up for it with a stylish hat-trick of tries. Back in his best position in the centres, he took full advantage of the spaces out wide and made the home team pay. He also did his share of tackling. Another good performance.
Alex showed signs of his best again today. Looking for the ball going forward and keen to stop the opposition in defence. The gentle giant of the pack made sure that the home team knew they were in a game. Will be a major problem to opposition teams after the break if this continues.
Winger Enis was once again keen to come inside and look for work (that or he was trying to get away from his vocal mother cheering him on). Always in the action and very often putting a string of tackles together from first or second marker.
Robbie was in the middle of everything again. Organising the pack at the scrum and chatting all game to anyone that would listen (even if they didn’t want to). In defence, not shy to put his body on the line.
Despite not liking playing wide, our union convert Daniel W made some great line and tackle breaks showing a decent turn of speed. Unlucky not to go over for his first try. He is sure to become a force as he learns “the beautiful game”.
Michael A, another newcomer to the team this season, once again showed a steely determination in both defence and attack. Ducking under tackles and going for legs when the opposition came forward. At least someone was listening.
The other quiet man of the pack, Sean, went about his business efficiently. Backing up his team mates in the tackle whilst looking to pirouette his way forward in attack. Could be a major force if he only starts believing in himself and starts to use his size.
Tom B was once again in the middle of every back move and drive. He seems to be the battering ram of the back line. Spent some time at “13” trying to utilise his pace from a standing start. As he learns to offload in the tackle he will become a key to breaking down defensive lines.
Declan was once again asked to move around position. “Am I a back or a forward?” must be the question asked at the Parkinson dinner table each week. No matter where he is asked to play, he puts himself about and makes an impact.
The final “big man” in the team Jonny was again outstanding. Some major tackles put in and always hanging around behind the PTB wanting the ball. He is certainly a player that you want on your side and not facing you in the defensive line.
Tom R has made the “9” shirt his own over the last few weeks. Quick to the breakdown and not shy to try a sneaky scoot when circumstances allow. His pass from dummy half has also improved dramatically and if this continues he will cause some issues in the next round of fixtures.
I have left our final player to the end to ensure that his dad has to read the whole report! Week in, week out Dylan consistently tackles above his weight. If the rest of the team performed like this young man the Benchwarmers would be unbeatable. In attack he has shown a turn of pace that has mystified the opposition. A definite asset to this team.
So that was the game and the season. Time to put the “typewriter” away for a bit and enjoy the summer (if we get one). It has been a privilege to report on the games this year. I have seen everyone step up to the challenges and make improvements to personal games and to the team effort. As Jason and Rob have always said, this is not just about today it’s about the future – always look to put in the effort and your game will improve. Well done and enjoy the break. We’ll be expecting more after the holidays.