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3XV - Match centre

Sefton 3
Merseyside Police 1
Sat 10 Mar 15:00 - Halbro North West Leagues - Division 4 West Full time

Third Team Reunion brings players back

Recruitment masterclass by strategist Campo, “I learnt from sHamling 2 weeks ago”.

Pre-Match
————
With a home game, and the England France game on later, Team Manager Campo sent out a call to all ex-3rd Team players who have left the Team, to come back and add to our dwindling numbers. 
A lot of the ex-3rd Teamers had started families, some had worked Saturdays, and some had just moved on.
What better day to organise a reunion!
Even Handbags Harper dusted off his old boots. 

There were also some Students who we’d been grooming. Apparently they’ll do anything if you just pick them up, give them free pies and ale, and drop them home.

I managed to have a quiet word with the Police’s cameraman, James, before the game, and it seems the Police had deliberately assembled a special team today, with the intent of ‘keeping Sefton safe’.
You gotta hand it to our constabulary, even when they’re not working, they are looking after you!


The Match
————---
Basically, with the knowledge that we were in safe hands, Sefton just gave the ball to the 3 new Students, and let them score the tries.
There wasn’t much of note otherwise, so I think I’ll just mention a few of the individual performances today…

Mike Walsh had his usual learning experience, keenly watching Student Rod doing some awesome stuff, and hopefully taking some notes on his boyfriend Jay Dempsey’s tackling technique.
One day, maybe soon, Mike might be able to show something he’s learnt, although I feel we will need to be really patient.

Today we were treated with a couple of special Paul Murphy moments…
PMM1. His standard knock on.
Ok, this happens every time the opposition kick to him, so it's not so special now, but really, you gotta admire the boy’s consistency.
PMM2. His devastating break down the touchline.
Midway through the second half, with Sefton being penned in their own half, the ball is swept out to Paul on the wing.
There is clear space in front of him, and he needs no invitation to begin his charge for the try line. Holding a true line that could only be learnt from many hours spent in Ikea, Paul dances down the touchline, with only the brave Police fullback to beat.
And it is now that we see the magic…
In a cunning move that can have only been stolen from watching Matty Williams, Paul neatly swerves around the fullback, and skips down to the tryline.
Unfortunately for Paul, the ref has called a line out for the Police, as the ‘swerve’ took him over the touchline, by only a few metres.
PMM3. His payment of Match Fees.
After the game, in the bar, Paul voluntarily came forward and gave his money to the Team Fees Collector. This, my friends, is a very rare thing seen in our lifetime....

Big Kev, coming on as a second rower presented a fiery (fire-y) sight.
In an attempt to protect his ears, Kev had wrapped some tape around his ears.
I am not sure if it was kinesiology tape or not, but it was wrapped so tight, the top of his bald head was deep purple!
With his normal white complexion, he looked like a fat matchstick!
(Lanky just thought he was a knob!)

We welcomed back 2 men that we’d thought we’d lost…
Firstly, Victorian Cross Purple Heart recipient Brendo McCrudden finally made his comeback appearance after the 2 year recuperation period for his sore shoulder.
Ignoring everyone’s advice that another year would be better for Sefton in the long run, Brendo tentatively steps onto the pitch in the second half, only when the game is won, and promptly puts himself in spaces where there is no one, and no balls.
After about 10 minutes of looking over his once injured shoulder and skipping sideways, the courageous Brendo decided to see how the old arm would put up with a bit of contact.
Clearly, a good test would be to see how it would go if he wanted to take someone’s head off…
In a perfectly timed (well, it was pretty late) charge at one of the smaller Police backs, not wanting to raise his arm too high, Brendo went in and stopped the poor lad in his tracks, proving the old adage, once again, that they can’t run without heads.
Afterwards, the look of relief on Brendo’s face was very evident, as there seemed to be no effect on his sore arm.

And then, the apparition that is Johnny Greaves, who officially has been carbon dated to the pre-Richie Lloyd era.
John seemed to float up the side line in his warm up preparation, and when he came on for his 10 minutes at the end, it was like he wasn't even on the field!
Was it really him, or was it his ghost???

Talking about running without heads….
The 2s scribe, Lanky, tucked his pencil away tightly, and put in his usual 50 minutes.
Running around excitedly, chasing the ball, and trying to fit in with the big boys, until he was too tired and wandered over to the sideline for a little nap.
I have actually seen a chicken with it’s head cut off run similarly, but never for 50 minutes.

Similar to the how we saw the “true” Jamie Carragher this week, we also saw the true loyalties of ‘our’ Chris McCleary.
Apparently nursing an alleged undefined injury, Chris had promised to assist the Thirds by either being the ball bay, the tee boy, or the photographer.
But, come 3 o’clock, there was no sign of the 3rd Team’s most prolific WhatsApping bully boy.
It was only around 6pm, when the 1st Team returned from their triumphant first half against Widnes, did we see McCleary sloping in, hanging onto the coat tails of his true idols.


Kicking Update
————----------
With the return of David Almond to the 3s, back where he truly belongs, after an extensive lay off and skiing trip, we were treated to some kicking that was out of this world.
Well, no so much out of this world, more like, out of the ground.
Twice, on 2 occasions, Dave, taking a penalty kick for touch, managed to hoof the ball clear out of the Sefton grounds and into the neighbouring housing estate.
On one occasion, he was heard to shout, ‘HAVE IT!’, in his follow through.
Now, I am not sure what Dave has against the Sefton Match Balls, but it was his poor old dad that was sent round in his car afterwards to collect the balls.
You’d really think old man Almond would have stopped picking up after his lad by now…


Injuries
--———
No Birkenhead Andy.
No injuries.


Prognosis
-----------—-
A lot of people are always asking me just what the No Show (aka Aaron) brings to the Sefton 3s, and basically, I’ve never been able to respond.
Until now….
Last week, I watched this movie called “Alive”.
It was about these rugby players from Uruguay, and their plane crashed in the Andes, and they only survived by eating some of their fallen comrades. 
It was a moving experience of involvement and commitment.
I now think, if ever Sefton 3s had an away game in South America, that big Aaron would be the first player we would pick.

Here’s to a week off next week (although, we’ll probably have to play for the depleted 2s).


Yours in rugby
xx

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Team selection

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League round up

Other Division 4 West results

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Liverpool St Helens 3
Ruskin Park 1
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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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