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2XV - Match centre

Sefton 2nd XV
Anselmians 2nd XV
Sat 24 Nov 14:15 - Halbro North West Leagues - Division 3 South Full time Attendance 37

No Ole for Alfonso

Unbeaten league leaders Anselmians have a bruising time, but come away with the points, in an entertaining game.

After last week’s epic thriller the seconds were in positive mind set to give league leaders Anselmians a tough day. For the first time ‘I think ever’, there was no cry-offs. Not even the sudden illness of Paddy Walsh’s granddad could deter his appearance on the pitch.

Captain for the match was Princess, with his first captaincy whilst actually playing, I was looking forward to last year’s injury prone, troubled captain’s wise words on the pitch.

A strong start by Anselmians denied Sefton the ball, and it wasn’t long before they took advantage of that. Sefton had no answer to their catch and drive at the lineout and they went over in the corner.

From the restart Sefton did well to disrupt the catch and thus allowed them to win possession. This time it was Sefton’s turn to use the lineout for the platform. Getting close to Anselmians line before Dave ‘Precious’ Almond exploits a gap in their defence to go over for a try.

It was becoming a good contest with Sefton showing their dominance in the forwards, and Anselmians having good handling skills in the backs.

With Sefton’s back line sucked in, Anselmians were able to find space out wide, and although Lancaster anticipated the pass and lined their full back up as he received the ball, he managed to wriggle free and go over for a converted try.

If Anselmians were enjoying dominance in the backs, Sefton’s scrum were having similar success. One scrum saw Anselmians driven back ten metres before they deliberately collapsed it. Another scrum ensued and Precious was able to break from the back to score another try, which he also converted.

After this marathon push, Mark Dobie comes off after exhausting his shoulder injury options, with him unsure of which shoulder to hold. On comes Brian Gardner who makes an immediate impact. With the defence in disarray due to a constant barrage of runs by Sefton, the ball is eventually carried up to the oppositions five metre line. A crash ball to Gardner evaporates the remaining defence and he is able to go over for a try.

An interception try was on the cards when Lancaster rushes out of the line to tackle the Anselmians centre. Unfortunately, he was focusing on the player, not the ball when it strikes him on the head and bounces away harmlessly. I am unsure why this is funny, but the team think it should be mentioned.

Brian Gardner completes a full ten minutes on the pitch before staggering off considering his work completed*.

------- *Ten Minuter (definition) -------
Term of phrase introduced by Brian Gardner depicting the amount of time he considers acceptable to be on the pitch. Similar to ‘two step’ Pete’s measurement of acceptable distance to travel.

Another driving maul from a lineout by Anselmians brings the same result as before, with the unstoppable pack breaking over the try line with no solution to the problem for Sefton.

Anselmians finish the half edging further in front with an orchestrated try through their backs, putting them nine points ahead at the break.

At the start of the second half some sustained pressure was put on Anselmians, with Matt Simpson breaking the defensive line whenever he received the ball. Despite this, Sefton failed to get over the line and the attacks eventually fizzles out. Anselmians manage to escape their half, and a try against the run of play is their reward, to Sefton’s dismay.

Sefton fight their way back into Anselmians twenty-two and after several lineout’s, they are rewarded with a penalty five metres out. JP Ellis takes the ball up, and on contact he is able to twist through the tackle and ground the ball over the try line.

Anselmians hit back from a well worked shortened lineout, which allowed the backs to have plenty of dummy runners. The ball is cleverly taken out to the winger, who was able to go round the outside, and over under the posts for a converted try.

------ Kicking Up-date -------
I was hoping that with Jay Evans not in the side this week, I would not need this feature, but alas there are other wannabe kickers in the side. Our resident Spaniard Alfonso ‘Fonze’ Robledo, took his chance again. You would’ve thought after last week’s pathetic attempt he’d learnt his lesson, but no, he tries again with the same expected result.

You’d think it would be enough to have one wayward kicker on the pitch, but we also had JP Ellis applying his boot to the ball. Running it out of our twenty-two, he had only one intention, and that was to put his foot to the ball. It soars across the pitch, and to my dismay it bounces once before going out of touch on the oppositions twenty-two. I even heard one of the opposition say “wow that was a really good kick, he could be a ten”. No he can’t, that just encourages him to kick more, one good kick in ten doesn’t make you a fly-half, as Jay Evans has proved. We will have no more of this nonsense!

The remaining of the half saw Sefton fail to score with three good chances. The Fonze is first to try and put his influence on the game, when he does an outrageous swan dive over the ruck that was sprawled over the try line. What has he been watching, old American Football movies? The ref deemed him to have dropped the ball over the line, and disallowed it.

Next to attempt try glory was Mat Stilgo biding his time on the wing. His chance came when Princess put a perfectly weighted kick across the pitch. The ball bounces just before the try line and Mat’s eyes must of lit up thinking of the glorious headlines that would befall him as he rushed onto the ball. He must have been distracted, probably thinking about what he was going to tell his future grandchildren about this life event, because at the crucial moment, as the ball crosses the line and he judges its intercept projection, his co-ordination fails him and it’s knocked forward off his hands.

Next up is Princess with probably the most viable claim for a try. Princess initiates the break which takes him out to the left wing. A pass to Nathan Sas who uses his considerable weight advantage to take on the onrushing defence. A pass back to Princess who had looped round allowed him to squeeze over in the corner with a dramatic dive over the try line. However, the touch line assistant judged him to have gone into touch before he had grounded the ball. Unfortunately, Sefton does not yet have TMO technology.

A great performance by Sefton, who held their own against a side unbeaten in the league, and were unlucky not to get a few more tries. Precious controlled the game calmly behind the pack, and JP Ellis ran strong and hard with the ball in hand. However, man of the match went to Matt Simpson with his crash balls through the centres, which kept Anselmians on the back foot.

on leaving the pitch Princess either failed to remember who he was playing when the tunnel was formed after the match, or he couldn’t pronounce it, as he stumbled through the words “three cheers for Anseb…. Absal…… In the end JP helped him out. The shameful captain had one job!

After the match Alfonso treated us to a display of his traditional Spanish dress, something he wears every weekend apparently, who are we to judge. These Spaniards are crazy!

------ Search For Befitting Song ------
Some might have heard the third teams quest to take ownership of the second team song, ‘Fat Bottom Girls’. What is Campo’s obsession with ownership, we are happy to let the third team sing our song, but only in victory. Anyway the fat bottom girl Is not someone you can own, she is her own women, strong and independent, none of us can own her, only worship her with our song. Not that the thirds have had anything to sing about lately. Perhaps I could help them find a song, something more fitting their style of play. ‘Loser’ by Beck, ‘Failure’ by King of Convenience, or maybe ‘I Can’t Stand Up For Failing Down’ by Elvis Costello? All good choices for a team on the ropes, perhaps they could do a duo with the first team?

Next week the seconds are away at Lymm.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Division 3 South results

Glossop 3rd XV
27
50
Lymm Eagles (3rd XV)
W
L
Knutsford

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# Team Pl Pts
6. Knutsford 13 33
7. Old Bedians 2nd XV 13 33
8. Sefton 2nd XV 13 32
9. Carrington 12 30
10. Manchester Village Spartans RFC 13 25
11. Capenhurst 13 23
12. Didsbury Toc H 3rd XV 13 18

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