Captain’s Optimism Doesn’t Rub Off
Despite a great start, Sefton are left contemplating missed chances.
Selection was a candid affair, with all teams holding their cards close to their chests. Craig Johnson was practically salivating over Paddy McCleery and the thought of another scrum half in his squad. For now he was safely tucked away in the seconds.
That would change by the end of the week, with Johnson unable to contain himself, now down to two scrum halves, he took not only McCleery, but Jonny Orr and Michael Caruthers as well. Luckily we had ex-captain Morgan in the seconds this week and like the pied piper, he was able entice both Adam Walker and Brian Unsworth from the third team. How soon loyalties change, this with the captain’s seat still warm.
We meet at Sefton with sHambling unsure exactly how many players he has, telling us it could be 12, 14, or 16. He allowed the thirds to take Paul Murphy, when they used the ‘Sefton away rule’. Away teams always go away with fifteen regardless (the theory is you can always pick up home players). Funnily enough, I don’t recall the seconds being able to use ‘the rule’ when they went away with fourteen last week.
Princess sHambling’s State of Mind
Wailing Wall category 5. I’ve never seen him so calm, his eyes weren’t even red from crying into his pillow all night. Maybe he’s having therapy, probably been told that its not all his fault. Delusional bliss.
The on field captaincy this week went to Kiev Mainwaring, mainly because he had the most to say in the warm up. At this rate we could have a new end of season award, ‘captain of the season’. I’d like to point out, when I captained, we had the smallest loss margin. Small victories.
What a start, despite Buckles poor kick-off, that practically went backwards. With the pressure coming through the scrum with Kiev Mainwaring and Gypsy Ged, the ball at the back of Aldwinians scrum was messy. Sefton win the ball back and straight away put Aldwinians defence in disarray. Firstly, Mikey Morgan carriers the ball up, and draws the defenders towards him. Owen Devlin then cuts through the middle to score an unconverted try left of the posts.
Sefton weren’t able to increase their score despite the ball possession, and the loss of Mikey Morgan early on through injury reduced Sefton’s attacking option’s. Aldwinians were less hesitant, when they got the ball, with their first try coming against the run of play through a rampant set of forwards. Captain Mainwaring was very positive under the posts, what is this new type of captaincy, it will take a lot of getting used too, I generally blame the backs for everything.
Call it a rush of blood, but whenever Sefton got close to the oppositions line, there was an air of frantic panic. This was the difference between the two sides, with Sefton having plenty of opportunity, but not being clinical enough. Aldwinians on the other hand, were patient, despite having less ball, and finished well. They caught and drove in the lineout, and when they had drawn Sefton’s defence in, past it out wide. Two more tries were added to the oppositions score by half time.
The half time talk was positive from Mainwaring, still no mention of how the backs keep messing up, though it was countered by Steve Hughes, who generally looks like he’s been chewing wasps. sHambling intervened with the occasional “we need to fan out in defence”.
The second half also started well, with Sefton camped in Aldwinians half for long periods, but again panicking at crucial times. A hesitant Mikey Morgan came back on, though not fully fit, his presence was notable. A little chip through by Morgan put Sefton in a commanding position. If only Sefton could have got it out to the wings, we had the experienced, (though lacking pace now), Phil Osborne, and on the other wing we had a rapid Ciaran Fairclough. Unfortunately, blind Stevie in the centres must have forgotten his contact lenses this week, and couldn’t catch a thing.
Eventually, a spilled ball centre pitch cost Sefton dearly, allowing Aldwinians to fly-hack it through. Despite Sefton’s lacklustre chase back, the ball was continuously kicked until the opposition were able to dive on it over the try line.
Sefton did not give up, and eventually found their rhythm. A high flying Growler was catching easily in the lineout, and this gave us the impetus to take Aldwinians on. Owen Devlin again showed his strength in attack, with a line breaking try right of the posts. Devlin converted his own kick.
Now with momentum on their side, against an opposition that was starting to falter, Sefton kept the pressure on. A penalty ten metres from Aldwinians line was quickly taken by Adam Walker, who weaved his way through the retreating opposition to score an unconverted try.
Trailing by seven, Sefton piled on the pressure, pushing Aldwinians back. A run by Ciaran Fairclough, showed what he can do if he gets the ball, unfortunately a wild pass demonstrated why he is on the wing. If he’d only backed himself and gone alone, this lad has serious pace, its just a shame he didn’t get more ball.
Mikey Morgan nearly made the try line but was stopped a metre short. Eventually, the opposition break out of their half, with Phil Osborne nearly intercepting a pass, but fumbling the ball as he tried get control of it. The odds of him running the whole pitch were slim, however, even if he managed to keep hold of it. A final try by Aldwinians put the hope of a comeback to rest in the last five minutes though, to leave Sefton thinking about their missed chances.
Another good competitive game that could have gone either way, but Sefton are left still looking for that much needed win. Man of the match went to a revitalised Owen Devlin, full of energy and much needed optimism., though his promise of coming down to training hasn’t materialised yet.
The hypochondriac enigma known as Growler was back playing this week, he reports no noticeable illnesses, though he said he was a little depressed. There’s nothing like a prescription of penicillin for a nasty rash to get you feeling better, I’m sure by the end of the weekend he’ll be displaying some new ailment.
Bet you didn’t know Campo could speak Spanish. Unfortunately no matter how loud he spoke, or how much he gesticulated with his hands, our new recruit Pablo couldn’t understand a word of it. Perhaps he’s from Catalonia Campo, different dialect. I must point out Pablo understood Jay Keegan perfectly, surprising really, I still have trouble understanding what Jay is talking about.
No games next week, although I’m sure some of us will manage to avoid Saturday afternoon Ikea shopping. If not I'll meet you in the kitchen department for a scrum down, those cupboards aren't going to fix themselves Pistol Pete!