Sefton’s Cup Hopes Dwindling
The Team struggle, but Match objectives are met.
Under new management, we manage to get a pretty good side together, only for Club Captain, Craig MossleyHillForever Johnson to order our 2 attacking backs (Walker and Brian) to play for the ever depleting 2nd team.
We had already given the 2s Paul Murphy, after feeling sorry for the 2s “Captain” sHamling (Hamling, I think you gotta have more than one person to constitute a WhatsApp group!!).
Anyway, after Bobby pulled out due to a League injury on Friday night (I thought the Grand Final was last week?) and Gomez had a sick wife (surely Huyton is full of her relatives??), we gathered at the Club. Gomez was a big loss to the team, his big Mercedes is invaluable on away games, but we scrapped enough cars to get there.
This week we welcomed a new International Player to the Club, with Pablo fresh from stepping off the plane from Spain *. We find Pablo some boots and socks and tape **, and he’s good to go!
Pablo’s English is really bad, so I figured he’d learn by travelling in Birkenhead Andy’s car to Knutsford.... ***
Great to see Ben Webster turning up. The rumours are he’s brought himself a house. Well, judging by his ill fitting Oxfam clothing and knitted wooden beanie, it looks like he’s been bin bagged! And he seems to have lost his car..
* I’ve got this sneaking suspicion that Pablo has flown by either Monarch or RyanAir, and that we won’t have the option of sending him back...
** Mate, I won’t forget that tape you know!!
*** This proved somewhat a bad decision, now it’s like Pablo has Spanish Tourettes!
Ok, we’d all looked at Knutsford 1s form on the League’s website, so we’d had a pretty good idea how thing were gunna go (their “4 wins from 4” looked a bit better, on paper, than our “no wins so far”) *.
And, passing the McLaren Showroom ** next door to their pitch, we worked out that these guys have a bit of money to play their players ***.
Blandly has bravely stepped up to wear the Captain’s armband ****, his pre match instructions are pretty clear, “don’t kick, and don’t pass it to Birkenhead Andy”.
The game starts well, from the kick off, Blandy catches the ball and kicks to their fullback who scores under our posts. We all look expectantly at Blandy for more instructions, but he is standing in the bushes, ready to catch the conversion and sprint back to the halfway.
You didn’t need to know any foreign language to realise that Sefton were, once again, gunna have a lot of “under the posts reflection” time, so there was no wonder that Pablo hobbled off after 5 minutes with an injury that only Spanish people can get (I think it was Spanish Flu on the Thigh).
Suffice to say, there were a few big lads in the Knutsford 1s *****, and the score was pretty ugly at half time.
The second half was quite surprising, with Sefton actually playing less badly.
We had a few penetrating runs, from Ben, and especially Yacob. Ben’s impact was quickly curtailed with a very firm kick to the head at the bottom of a ruck (thanks mate, if you weren’t there, that would’ve been me!) but Yacob was inspirational.
Yacob’s summer holidays in A11epo have clearly been well spent. His girth is probably not exactly “six pack” (it looks more like 6 grenades), but, for some reason, the opposition are afraid to tackle him.
If only more Seftonites could run that ball up, shouting, “for A11ah”, we may get over the gain line.
Amazingly, the Knutsford 1s team were able to bring on some handy replacements. Gez Thomas was heard to mutter, “have you seen the size of their subs?”.
But, the second half score was significantly better than the first (perhaps due to the players Knutsford gave us, particularly Fat Howard ******, but, more likely, with Sefton showing some balls).
Gotta mention a few individual performances here. Young Lawrence stood out well on the wing, managing to catch a few balls this week and showing a clean pair of heels.
Paddy Walsh also appears to be improving, fitting in well on both the side of the pitch and the side of the scrum (wing and wing forward). And nice to see that Amanda irons his fluffy pink towel.
* I’m still working out how I can disable the League’s website. It will improve team morale.
** And there I was, naively thinking McLaren just made baby’s pushchairs!
*** The only “payment” Sefton players get is free electrical tape (from Mike Collins) and occasional access to Lanky’s clunky blue bag.
**** I’ve decide Blandie and I will share the Captaincy now that ex-Captain Morgan has stepped down. Blandie will take the Cup games, and I will take the home games where the opposition sit below us in the League.
***** It would seem that 3 teams once graced the Knutsford pitches, but they’ve fallen on hard times (or possibly good times), managing to keep their First Team and ditch their lower teams.
****** Howard, I was going to call you Big Howard, but that really old guy in your team (home brew boy), insisted you were Fat Howard! I’m not even gonna mention his try (a 2 step “gift”).
We do have a designated kicker, Mike, but he promptly kicked himself out of that role, and then we have a succession of different players stepping up (btw. Has anyone told Mike a 22 restart is a drop kick, not a mid field bomb?).
First off is Blandy (amazing what the Captain’s armband can do), with a penalty kick for touch (btw. Has anyone told Blandie about penalty kicks having to find the touch line, not their fullback?), and then Ben Webster, who actually kicked most of the penalty kicks out. He didn’t make any ground, but they went out (btw. Has anyone told Ben the concept of field position?).
Amazingly, Campo got in the kick of the season (yes, I allow myself one a season), and it was a thing of beauty, dribbling down the touch line and gaining Sefton invaluable metre.
Poor old Salad took a bit of a knock to the knee and had to be carried off. I’m struggling to recall if ever Salad has played a full 80 minutes. Rumours have it that Salad has a rugby playing son, one can only hope “Fruit Salad” has a bit more mettle than his dad!
One figures Pablo’s mystery thigh injury will have miraculously disappeared for the next game.
Sefton were well looked after back at the Knutsford Sports Club, with fresh complimentary grapes, a massive jug of ale and generous servings of pasta and fresh bread.
Homeless Ben was besides himself, eagerly queuing up for a second helping with a plate that I think he brought with him.
The Knutsfordians were perfect hosts, and it was nice to see some of their bruising forwards doing the washing up later.
Well, as I'd say about any lost Sefton Cup Match, we did the job.
Everyone is happy on the day, and now the boys will have 2 weeks to think up their excuses.
Yours in rugby