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3XV - Match centre

Oldershaw 2 OUT
Sefton 3
Sat 17 Feb 14:15 - Halbro North West Leagues - Division 4 West Kickoff 14:15

Sefton play well for first 20 minutes

Unfortunately, there are 80 minutes in a rugby game

Pre-Match
————-----

There were a lot of players who were unavailable this week…..

Lipstick Captain Blandie had made himself unavailable, privately disclosing a dark secret he’s lived with for many years (listen very carefully, I will say this only once): “my parents are visiting, and I don’t want them to know I play rugby, for Sefton. I’ve managed to hide it from my family over the years, ‘going to Asda every Saturday’, not getting my kit dirty, avoiding injuries through no contact…”.

Matty Williams HAD made himself available, but later on sent me heart to heart, this deep and meaningless, text:
“Me and my sister went straight to Oldershaw at 13:15, but when I saw how big the opposition were, we got back to the safety of the car, to text Campo about ‘my late call in to work’. We secretly watched the game though, holding hands.
In hindsight, I probably could’ve played the game, and not got involved, if I’d’ve been playing on Sam Crummy’s wing”.

Paul Murphy, as usual, made himself available, and, as usual, did not materialise. He is moving on from being the new Kurdish Dave, to the new Gomez…

And yes, the Mike Collins disappearing act continues..
I know, you are all asking, that must be some disappearing act, on some scale!!
But, he finally went to that family wedding of his, where there was only one set of parents there (giving away both the bride, and the groom).
After all these Saturday afternoons of Suit Selections, Suit Fittings, Suit Alterations, Suit Alterations, Suit Alterations, Stag afternoons, Groom groomings..... Its all over.
No doubt, in a couple of Saturday’s, there’ll be a Christening to attend…


And so, the search for players continues…..
This week we managed to assemble a pretty good team, with a mix of old and new. 
With Dave Edwards and Jamie Luck stepping up, it was a bit more old than new, but newcomer Sam is looking one for the future.
Another old head was Dave Stanistreet, who was found by Lanky trawling through the Facebook.
There were actually a number of new faces at training too, but perhaps still a bit wary of putting their toes into the deep waters of Saturday afternoons….

Anyway, we scramble 15 lads to Oldershaw, and are looking forward to an honest game against fellow table bottom dwellers…
Imagine the shock we got when we look into their changies and see these massive lads that clearly couldn’t have only won 2 league games!!
I said to Jamie Luck, “What are they feeding these guys over here?”.
and when Jamie said, “Sefton 3rd teamers”, I was kinda glad I’d not washed the mud from my shorts this season…


The Brother Grimm
————
I’d normally be extolling the virtues of 2s Captain shambling under the title of “The Drain”, but I thought it’s really been like a fairy tale work with him….
Initially, we had to put up with “The Pied Piper called Hamling”, where he merrily played his mumbling tune, leading away all the 2s players, and then coming back to take the 3s away. (why can’t he pay his tune to Aaron Gore and Chis McCleary??).
This week, we were witness to the “Boy Who Cried Wolf”, with sHame-ling’s desperate phone calls to the 3s Captain, saying that no one wants to play with him (yes, it sounded like a scratched record that had been playing for 24 years!).
On Friday night he’s saying that he’s only got 11 players and Johnny Orr is one of them!
Amazingly, Hamling takes away a healthy 13 players to their doom on Saturday, leaving me to wonder if I can ever believe him again…
Next week I will certainly be repositioning my circle of trust when the Hamling Hotline heats up…


The Match
————
Without Blandie, we were down a 9, and desperate times called for desperate measures.
How could the captain ignore those pleading big moist eyes of Chris McCleary, those eyes who helped Chris drive Campo (in the front seat) to training every week, when Chris would tell Campo of his dreams of playing number 9, even though he can only pass from one side, and that he is really slow, and has that sleeping disease where you fall asleep when you’ve got rugby boots on….
And so, the massively stretched Number 9 jersey was thrown to Chris, who gleefully filled the stomach part of it.

After years of pleading, the No Show (big Aaron) was finally allowed to Captain the 3s. Real Captain Campo was of the thinking that we may get some contribution from Aaron this game.
Anyway, in what appeared to be a well rehearsed speech, Aaron laid down the strategy in the pre kick off cuddle, “boys, these are big fellows, I want you to put all your effort in the first 20 minutes”.
And effort we put in.
Yes, all our effort to pass the ball to Dave Stanistreet, who promptly ran in 3 long distant tries, with the 14 of us shouting from our 22, “go Dave!”.
So after 20 minutes we were up 19-0.
Admittedly, Oldershaw had their normal, blonde, ’2 wins this season’ guy in at 10 for this period, and he was promptly sent to the wing (obviously not Dave’s wing!), and someone, who clearly has played at a higher level, stepped in.
But the game had gone for 20 minutes, and the team had followed (very temporary) Captain Gore’s instruction to the letter!
Unfortunately, the increasingly uninspirational Captin Gore hadn’t moved from the halfway line, with his hands on his knees, he couldn’t summon the breath to instruct his troops, who promptly switched off and let Oldershaw score 60 unanswered points!

Injuries
————
Contradictory to Blandie’s above disclosure, where you can avoid injuries by avoiding contact, again this week we have Birkenhead Andy lying prostrate on the ground, holding his head…
From Andy’s involvement in the game, we deduced that Andy has managed to kick himself in the head this week, for there was evidence of a new dent in his forehead.
Fortunately, the bearded Oldershaw number 7 is there to assist (having a wealth of injury experience himself, judging from the number of times he spent on the ground!), and in what could only be described as something truly beautiful, amongst such carnage, he used the back of his little finger, to intimately wipe a tear from Andy’s cheek.

As for Jihadi “I never get injured” Jacob, one must say that he has learnt considerably from his fighting in Aleppo, and when to withdraw from a lost cause.
Nearing the end of the first half, with the Oldershawians having just scored 3 tries to overtake Sefton, and with the thought of the uphill in the second half, Yacob “only Thunder, not lightning” collapses to the ground, clutching his thigh in classic Sam Crummy fashion.
Being devoid of any honour, our Middle Eastern friend limps off (probably thinking that Sefton are nothing without him).

Of course, at the end of the game, in the Oldershaw bar, helping himself to the generous Oldershaw jugs of beer, and avoiding paying his match fees, there was Yacob, looking smug, with that ‘I told you so’ look upon his sweet, cherubic face.


Prognosis
—------------
Once again thanks for the 14 players, and Dave Edwards, who turned up today.
We are a team teetering on the edge of extinction, but today, we lived to play another day.

A big thank you to Dave Stani, who honourably brought a jug of ale for his 3 try hat trick.

Great to see a new face in young Sam.
A very raw face, which did take home a little bump, but it is proof that he got involved, something rarely seen in his household.

Also a special thanks to Jamie “I’ll always give you 70 minutes” Luck.
One wonders if both him and Gez Thomas attend the same Welsh Anger Management course, and perhaps they really should be going to the ones spoken in English.

And how can we not mention the cameo Captain’s performance by the No Show? Big Aaron was superb after the game, letting the Oldershaw Captain know of the Sefton 3s Player of the Match. I think Aaron should always represent us when there is a pint drinking competition on a chair.
Mind you, it would need to be a solid chair (maybe like a VW Golf front seat).

Yours in rugby
xx

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Division 4 West results

3
47
Liverpool St Helens 3
Ruskin Park 1
40
3

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League table

# 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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