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3XV - Match centre

Sefton 3
Liverpool Collegiate 3
Sat 2 Dec 14:15 - Halbro North West Leagues - Division 4 West Full time

Sefton fail to hold onto lead

Sefton stick perfectly to Blandie’s Match Plan, “keep them under 50!”.

The Drain
Once again, we were struggling for numbers, after generously donating to the sHamling In Need appeal.
sHamling, even with his dodgy knee *, has managed to jump ship, leaving former disgraced 2s Captain, Martin Idontwannahavetodoanything Lancaster in charge.

Lanky wasted no time on Friday arvo, taking Blind Stevie **, Henry and Bobby Cook.
Just prior to kick off, he kidnapped our last games’ Man of the Match, Steve Downing.

The only good news was the late withdrawal of Handbags Harper, who is having a heavy period, at the Royal Mail, in the lead up to Chrimbo.

* Hamling went into hospital on Thursday, to get the knee sorted. He reported on Friday that the Doctor was pleased but he was in a lot of pain. This news was well received by his teammates.
** Blind Stevie didn’t even know he was playing, he had received Campo’s “3’s Selection” text, by he “didn’t see it”!!! Don’t worry, I’ve since shown Steve the “Text Size” option in his phone (Sorry Ste, it doesn’t do Braille!!).

The Warm Up
What has happened here??
There was no formal warm up!
There weren’t any high knees, no squats, no Morecombe and Wises, no high kicks and no The Hills are Alives!!
No Captain Campo and the standards are out the door.
Sefton had a light game of touch and thought that would be more than enough….

The Match
It was a struggle, with so many players doing their Christmas shopping.
Collegiate took full advantage of the extra men, and superior strength and skills.
Yacob tried his penetrative hardness, but, although running many metres, only a few were in the forward direction.
I can’t comment too much on the game as I had to spend sone time counselling Birkenhead Andy, then needed counselling myself, at the bar.
I did come back for the second half, and saw that Collegiate had honourably provided a few players for Sefton (including their gallant Captain).

Once again, we witnessed Birkenhead Andy going down early in the Match.
I gotta hand it to him for his inventiveness, he’s not had a bad knee so far, and even the First Aider (Bobby) was impressed with the associated crying (“it was almost like he was in pain”).
Some of the Collegiate players, the younger ones mainly, had to turn away from the sight of a grown man crying, but, they will insist on playing this “Man’s Game”!
Anyway, after hobbling off at 2:20 (2:15 kick offs now), Andy somehow managed to sprint back to the changies, get showered and dressed, and was back watching the remaining 12 play bravely on, before 2:25!!

In response to us giving Lanky our best player, Downing *, Lanky had generously given us the ‘services’ of Jim Barlow.
Now, some of you may remember Jim, your dad may have spoken about him, Richie Lloyd may talk of him, there are black and white photos of Jim on the walls at the Club, from a bygone era.

What a swap Lanky has done! I reckon we should get Lanky into these Brexit negotiations, them Europeans in Brussels won’t know what hit them, until they see we’ve gone with all the good rugby players, and they’ve got Yacob and Kurdish playing for them!!

Anyway, Jim came along, still oblivious to the new 2:15 kick off time (well, the Daylight Saving clock change has only just happened about 6 weeks ago), he turns up, gets changed, and slowly walks to the far left pitch at Sefton, past the 1st team game.
There’s Campo, screaming for him to show some enthusiasm, and that he’s got to get on, as we’re down to 13 men.
So Jim ambers on, and, I kid you not, 2 minutes later, he sprints off with a “Sam Crummy Hamstring”!!
“I’ve got to work you know Campo, I can’t work if I’m injured you know!”.
Well, thank you Jim, looks like we’ll be deleting all those “Jim’ll Fix It” videos we’ve got, the illusion is shattered!!!

I guess we shall have some comfort in knowing that Downing lasted even LESS time on the 2s pitch, at Widnes **, before sprinting off with a “hip”.

* I trust you are cutting and pasting these last few Match Reports Stevie. These 15 column inches are probably gunna be as close as you’re gunna get to your 15 minutes of fame!

** Apparently it was nice to see one of Sefton’s ex-players, Simon Buckle, out at Widnes. After quitting Sefton with his tail firmly between his legs, Simon has instantly walked straight into the Widnes 2nd Team bench.

Very disappointing to only have 13 today, and seeing Andy’s heartbreak, at having to let his team mates down again.
I was speaking to some old heads on the bar after the game, and it was stated that, “in the old days, when Sefton played Collegiate, we used to bash the sh1t out of each other”.
Today, fortunately (with no Walsh’s in either team!) the game was played in a fantastic spirit and we look forward to playing the boys in blue at theirs in the new year.

Looking forward to next week’s game against Waterloo, no doubt the “availability” will be back to the 20 mark!!!
Campo xx

Seftons Mystery Reporter: "Probing sensitive areas"
Some weeks, an unsigned envelope is slipped under my door.
It contains an interview with a character of Sefton, but I am yet to determine who conducts these in-depth interviews, so he (or she) shall be known as “Sefton’s Mystery Reporter”.
This week, Sefton’s Mystery Reporter has finally managed to nail down the allusive Mikey Morgan, and get him under the microscope.
Admittedly, it needed a bloody big microscope!

SMR: Hello Mikey, nice to see you
MM: Hello Mystery Reporter, yes, I am not round very often.

SMR: Mmm, that’s interesting, that you think that you’re “not round”…
Is there someone we can bring in to translate your woolly back Haydock yicker accent?
MM: Haha, you could get Blandie on, he always does exactly what I tell him, he must understand me. 

SMR: No, I think we’ll want to avoid that, to much slobbering and, at the end, all that kissing.
So where have you been for most of the season?
MM: In one game I played, they tackled me again, and it was like the other time I got tackled, last year, and I had a hurty knee this time. 

SMR: “Hurty knee”? Wow, I hope you called an ambulance, that is up there with “Man Flu”.
MM: OF COURSE! Once I got back to Haydock, on the Tuesday I got an Ambulance down to Ferzakeley Hozzie, and insisted on seeing Gomez’s doctor, and demanded a placebo cast. 

SMR: Yes, of course. You probably would’ve been yelling, “Don’t you know who I am?”, and the right doors would’ve opened...
MM: Eggzakelery. So once I got let back in, they gave me a scan on my knee. For you, let’s just call it a “knee scan”.

SMR: A scan? What is that, like?
MM: Ok, it’s this thing that they do to your knee (I’m not sure because I was too scared to look down there), and of course it’s VERY painful, and basically, you can’t play rugby until you get the results. 

SMR: “too scared to look down there”?
With your ample girth, you’d be lucky to see anything. What do you think your missus feels?
MM: Haha. We are not married yet. I’ve been saving myself. She is in for a big surprise one day.
(Well, maybe not so big....)

SMR: back to the scan... Basically, it’s a free ticket, sorry, excuse, to get out of rugby for a couple of months?
MM: OF COURSE! You can’t play rugby while waiting for scan!!
What if they come back and say that there’s something wrong with your knee??
What if they say they’ve got to operate?
They told me I CANT PLAY RUGBY!

SMR: Of course, they could also come back and say there’s nothing wrong with you.
Did you not consider letting that girlfriend of yours having a look? She did really well with the split eye Campo had the other year...
MM: Me bird? Na, she’s only good for driving me to the game, and supplying the team strategy and tactics information

SMR: Amazing woman though, astute, intelligent, nice looking, got her own car. Totally out of your weight division?
MM: I know, she’s always telling me how good I am, at this level.
I’ve asked her to marry me before she realises how lucky I am.

SMR: “This level”? You do realise that  there are a significant number of higher standards of rugby above the North West’s Division 4 West?
MM: What?? I’ll have you know that this league is ringing with phenomenal talent. There’s loads of lads here, taking it easy, taking advantage of the likes of you honest players.
Didn’t you see who was Sefton’s highest try scorer last year?

SMR: Wow, I’m not sure we’ve time to go down that path (I will need to get the telescope out for another interview with you later).
But it’s about playing with your equals, rather than being the alpha male?
MM: Yes. Only about trying to gain respect.

SMR: (Cough, coughJoeEllis, cough)
Anyway, the results of this scan...
It’s a bit scary. You must’ve left that “Results” envelope unopened for a few weeks?
MM: Yes, it was like having my AIDS test. You don’t really wanna know, it can only be bad news.
I wasn’t sure whether they have to operate, or whether I have to play rugby.
It’s best not knowing.

SMH: Ok, so, amazingly, the scan results said there is nothing wrong.
I imagine it was would’ve been pretty blunt, ie: “Grow Some!”.
MM: Yes, it was gruesome.

SMH: So, you’ve no excuse now?
MM: No, I am ready for rugby again. I’ve looked at the 3s fixtures, and it’ll only be a few weeks before we play a relegation team, at Sefton.
I expect Blandie will start me at 8, is he still “on-field” Captain?

SMH: Well yes, he does speak loudest on the pitch, but he doesn’t pull too many strings. The real power lies down under I understand.
Weren’t you the Captain of the 3s this year?
MM: Well, of course you know I started off, unchallenged, as the 3s Captain, and then I found that we weren't winning and that the Second Team wanted my better players like Campo and then I wasn’t scoring all the tries and I found it easier just to walk away from it.

SMR: Bravely walk away hey? How do you feel that has been taken by Blandie, and Campo, who’ve been grooming you for this?
MM: Blandie and Campo? They’ve got nothing else to do have they!

8th December Addendum….

SMR: Ok, we’ve just had some news in, it seems that your knee now is not good?
MM: Yes, just when I was going to come back and play, I saw that we are up for playing the top of the league, Ruskin Park, so I went to my physio, and she said I need an operation.

SMR: Amazing. The Doctor, the Scan…. they were all wrong. Who’d’ve thought the Physio was the expert??? You may as well’ve gone straight to Downing for his opinion!!
MM: Yes, I may well go and see Stevie D, after the Ruskin Park game….

SMR: ok mate, good luck with the knee, the wedding and everything really.
MM: thank you Mystery Reporter, it was your pleasure!

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# Team Pl Pts
1. Prenton 2 18 69
2. Ruskin Park 1 18 67
3. Hoylake 2 18 55
4. Liverpool St Helens 3 18 51
5. Southport 3 18 38
6. Sefton 3 18 35
7. Merseyside Police 1 18 34

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