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2XV - Match centre

Sefton 2
Widnes 2
Sat 7 Apr 15:00 - Halbro North West Leagues - Division 2 South Full time

Johnson takes advantage of the slow witted

Sefton second’s keep their survival hopes alive for another week, despite lots of cheating by one of our own.

Sefton welcomed Widnes for the return fixture, a home game always attracts those players who fear straying further than two miles from their home. You know the type, the ones that never travel, get a local job, and marry a local girl. Apparently it is similar in Barrow-in-Furness, the extra finger also comes in very handy.

-------- Princess sHambling’s State of Mind ----------
Wailing Wall category 7. It’s not long now, I’m sure sHambling is counting the days down till that last game of the season. He thinks he can then walk away, discarding his captaincy. Surely he has to fix what he broke, before relinquishing control. Does he not know that it’s his responsibility to find someone gullible enough to take over the captaincy, just like me, and the Bush Fighter did previously.

This week was not going to be kind to sHambling, with the first team injury stricken, they raided an already depleted seconds, making sure they took their full complement of subs. Any help from Campo in the thirds was also hard to come by, secretly hoarding his squad of twenty players from view. If only his Aussie countrymen were as stealthy, their cricket team wouldn’t have got exposed, (I’ve heard that Campo often rubs his balls with sandpaper, but not to make them swing).

The rugby gods must have heard sHambling’s plight, with the Hoylake game cancelled on the Saturday morning due to a flooded pitch, a handful of players came looking for a game. Many were turned away, doomed to have an afternoon shopping. A few players were granted a space within the team, a decision I find immoral, but sHambling has no such scruples. I suppose you could say he was just taking back what was robbed from him.

Widnes came with no front row and a man down, so Craig Johnson, with a smile on his face, volunteered to play for the opposition. Both him, and his teammates relishing putting each other on their backside. Sadly Chipboard Buckle was nowhere in sight, deciding not to risk any encounter with his old teammates, but we were pleased to see our old friend Clive, who played for us at the Widnes home game. No one knows exactly how old Clive is, but he knows Paul Devlin, so pretty old.

Sefton started the stronger, but within five minutes captain Mainwaring (captain does sound good in front of his name), decided to even it up, with a high tackle that earned him ten minutes in the sin bin.

This unsettled Sefton and the opposition took advantage of this, pushing Sefton back into their half, and eventually going over for a converted try. The opposition went back to their half, slapping Johnson on his back, congratulating his contribution. He seemed happy, it was good to see him eventually find some friends.

Sefton held out till Kiev Mainwaring was back on the pitch, and although they were unable to effect the uncontested scrum, the lineout’s were pretty much dominated by Sefton. Luke Griffiths was the main jumper, and then the ball was whipped out to the backs where Liam ‘of the thong’ somehow managed to skip his way through Widnes’ defence, to score under the posts, converting his own try.

Back to full strength, Sefton enjoyed a period of dominance inside Widnes’ half. A penalty eventually came to Sefton on the opposition’s five metre line, and Kiev Mainwaring charges forward, unstoppable as he crashes over the try line.

Lawrance Gillen (now recovered from his ‘mysterious’ vomiting episode in the last match), did get his chances with a few breaks on the wing. The closest he came to scoring was when Alex Evans kicks the ball behind the defence. Gillen chases, and collects the ball and would have been through if not for a superb tackle by their full back.

Sefton kept up the pressure in the opposition’s twenty-two and this lead to Charlie Nicholson slipping through a gap in the centres, and scoring under the posts. Liam Thong converted.

A devious Craig Johnson was penalised for unsportsmanlike behaviour, when he entered Sefton’s line pretending to be a Sefton player. His call for the ball, was rewarded by a naive Alex Evans who passed it without hesitation. Shamefully taking advantage of Evans’ low cognitive skills, and his obvious colour blindness, was deservedly punished.

At half time Charlie Nicholson hobbles off with his sore knee, pleased that he lasted half a game after a number of weeks off. On came another invalid, the towering ‘Jordanian project’, claiming “my knee will be fine”. If we stripped both these players down for spares, we might just get one functioning rugby player.

The second half was a frustrating affair, although Sefton did get an early try, when they broke quickly in the backs. The ball goes out wide, through some quick hands, before coming back inside for Steve Hughes to score in the corner.

After that, Widnes seem to come alive, with a little help from innumerable penalties against Jay Dempsey and Sefton, but mainly against Jay Dempsey. With Widnes attacking the corner, a blatant knock on by Craig Johnson was unseen by the ref. Most players stopped expecting a scrum, but with no whistle, the Widnes winger was quickest to react, and went over for a try in the corner. The disgraceful Sefton club captain sheepishly kept quite, avoiding eye contact with any Sefton players.

Sefton did have a number of chances to put the game beyond reach, a try by Tom Houghton was held up over the line. Phil Osborne did well to get the ball away to the back, with some late hits reducing the number of ribs he has in his body, but some goal line fever by Liam Thong and Steve Johnston left Sefton short of the line. If passed out to the wings, it would have allowed Paddy Walsh or Lawrance Gillen to go over in the corner.

The game was finally put to bed with another superb kick over the top by Alex Evans. With the defence backpedalling, Liam Thong comes through and the ball bounces perfectly for him to retrieve, and go under the posts for a try, which he converts.

A break by Paddy Walsh nearly puts the icing on the cake, when he races down the wing with just the full back to beat. Paddy possibly had too much time to think, as well as the expectation of his mum, screaming on the side line, thus he ran straight into the defender hoping to bustle his way through. The excitement and the rush of blood to the head was too much for him, and the chance for glory is missed.

Man of the match went to the link man, a battered and bruised Phil Osborne, who will probably need some tender love and care over the next few days. Six days rest is recommended. He politely refused my back rub in the showers afterwards, some lads just don’t want help.

Another win under the belt, but sadly it may be too late for Sefton second’s survival in this league. Another win required, and that’s if New Brighton, who are one point ahead don’t win anymore. With little chance of beating Glossop away next week, the seconds last hope could be Homes Chapel the week after. A big ask, but not yet out of the reach of sHambling’s grasping hands, he may yet climb out from the depths of the gutter.

Other news
The arrival of a physio at the club (and I don’t mean Downing’s clammy hands), will mean players will be clambering down with all sorts of injuries. One guess where hypochondriac Chocky will be on a Tuesday night.

If you haven’t got your club dinner ticket’s yet, you better hurry, the 28th April is fast approaching. With every booking agency ignoring Sefton’s calls, the entertainment this year is left to the Sefton Quartet. Who wouldn’t want to hear Brian Gardner, Matty Thomas, Pistol Pete, and the Bush Fighter have a ‘who can shout the loudest’ stand-off.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: 1x1 rip

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
7. Whitchurch 2 24 61
8. Didsbury Toc H 2 24 60
9. Widnes 2 24 59
10. Winnington Park 2 24 45
11. New Brighton 2 24 40
12. Sefton 2 24 40
13. Capenhurst 1 24 31

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