Third Team get Down and Dirty in another muddy marvellous victory
Thank God we had a lifeguard on the team
After a wet week the Third team made the trip to Burgess Hill buoyed by a win over the same opposition at home earlier in the season, tempered with the knowledge that we were missing a number of regulars like Dave Ed Wurmy, Jason, Charlie P ,Charlie A and Tam, with a few new faces were being drafted in who hadn't played together and a potentially unproven front row (thanks to Paul for offering to front up - big respect)
We arrived to find the BH first team pitch with big puddles all over it and with mud that would have looked at home on the battlefields of World War One, and were then told the pitch we were going to be playing on was even worse!!!! After a lengthy discussion the YOUNGER players all agreed we should play while the ELDER STATESMEN were clearly more enamoured with the idea of returning to the bar for some liquid refreshment. In the end and after much negotiation between the captains coaches and the Ref it was decided that the game would go ahead, but with scrums going uncontested to save anyone from drowning, which given that young Tobi hasn't yet passed his lifeguarding qualification was a very good idea.
After a rousing speech from Mr Kidner about protecting the ball and tackling hard, Pulborough made early inroads into a robust BH defence but were caught out when a quick tap penalty resulted in the BH winger scooting over in the corner, leaving Mearsy nursing a sore hamstring in his wake ( 7 - 0 down) .
Fortunately the healing powers of the opposition try line soon saw Mr Mears make a Lazarus like recovery when, after concerted pressure and some pretty bloody good handling from backs and forwards in the atrocious conditions, a long pass reminiscent of a young Will Greenwood from Mr Kidner, found Mearsy with a clear run to the line. Ignoring Baz who was in close support about 40 yards behind (apparently "saving his energy"), Mearsy dotted down. The conversion was missed by young Mr Hay, one of only a very few things he didn't do perfectly on a very testing day for a full back ( I wont mention the backwards drop out), when he caught every high ball cleanly and made good yards in attack. I look forward to seeing him back regularly next season.
Despite the ground beginning to cut up and the ball and players becoming dirtier than a young lady from Braunstone ( its a place in Leicester) after a few Bacardi Breezers, the Threes were still playing some excellent attacking rugby, with Rob at 9 handing the conditions well and giving great ball to Ewan at ten who was showing great maturity and combining well with Mearsy and Ryan in the centres to set up a number of attacks than on a dry pitch would almost certainly have resulted in tries. testimony to how dirty the payers had become was when Levi produced a great tackle on Rob, thing he was the opposition 9 ( get that hair cut Levi lol)
Finally, after another period of pressure, a lovely sequence of play resulted in Ryan going over behind the posts, meaning we turned round 12 7 up ( and also meaning Ryan had to have a small rest to be comforted by his lovely young lady ( if anyone can work out how an ugly git like him has managed to get hold of her please let me know!!!) . (Editiors Note: I was going to mention Josh returning from injury and dropping the first pass he received, but that would be unfair so I wont (welcome back matey).
A few changes at half time saw some fresh legs come on to allow a few lads a breather. The second half continued in much the same way, with the Pulborough forwards making the hard yards and the backs looking to run around a tiring BH side. Ewan was denied a try by an excellent piece of defence by the BH wing, and only a last ditch tackle on young Harry, yet another colt making his debut, stopped further tries. Eventually though the pressure and quality of the Thirds play proved too much for BH to resist and after some slick handling Merasy finished his second try with real quality, wrong footing a number of defenders with ease to score under the posts. the conversion was knocked over by Chris and the scoreline read 19 -7. BH came back strongly but the Thirds defence could not be breached and after couple of injuries the BH captain and referee decided enough was enough and blew slightly early to give the Thirds a well deserved win and even more importantly meant we got to the shower, beer and food first.
Very hard to pick a man of the match but special mention to Tobi at blindside playing only his second game for the seniors who was fantastic in the back row, George White who had an awesome game, Garry and Marc in Second row and Mearsy for his two tries, plus all the young lads, Kieran, Harry Ewan, who put in strong performances on a pitch like nothing they have probably ever played on!!! Special thanks also to the lads who drove up from Brighton and also for the BH lads who played well throughout and in good spirit in horrible conditions.
Overall though the award has to go to Mr Stuart Standing, who, fresh from his first team exploits, put in a fantastic shift in attack and defence.
Next week (24th) we are looking to arrange a fixture at Alton, allowing players and supports to sample the delights of a select number of hostelries on the way home and take in a bit of England thumping the Irish too.
League action returns on 3 March with a huge game at HOME to Brighton. We are only 6 points off second spot so if we will all our three remaining games we could easily finish top three or four which would be an amazing achievement.
Third Team Coach