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3XV - Match centre

Southport 3rd XV
Sefton 3rd XV
Sat 8 Dec 14:15 - Halbro North West Leagues - Division 4 West Full time

Ref spoils it again for Sefton

Accounting blunder almost costs Southport deserved victory

Southport 3s away. A fixture we always look forward to.
Southport 3s are an honest 3rd team, we’ve enjoyed many games over the years, including friendlies, and come to know most of their players.
Today we were both looking to pull ourselves from the bottom of the table.
Once again, Captain Gore has insisted on turning up 90 minutes before the match. Well, given it was lashing down and very cold, I could not drive any slower to Southport, making sure we got there safely and in one piece.
This was not good for the enthusiastic passenger Bland, who kept on about the “inquisitiveness of the turtle”.
Anyway, we arrive, and should have been last there *. Blandie showed a surprising turn of speed, racing to the changies’ toilets with clenched buttocks ***. And then moaning about the coldness of the toilet seat ****.

Captain Gore, whilst putting on his browned shorts, took the opportunity to divulge the fact that Southport 1s and Southport 2s did not have a game today, and that Southport 3s have only just managed to put together a composite side to ensure the fixture was fulfilled.
A makeshift side with many big, fast and young reserves.

Of course, we had ample time to warm up, to do our high knees, Morecombe and Wises, heel flicks and lunges *****. It was curious to see McTeary doing the frog jumps sideways...

* It seems that McTeary drives the way he plays **, he left 10 minutes before we did, and we had buses flashing us!

** We can only wish Chris the best of luck in his new job, as a salesman covering Yorkshire. Given the size of the county and Chris’ cautious middle lane driving, there’s no way he’ll be back for 2:15 on Saturdays. Everyone’s a winner.

*** Cunning psychology from the planners of the new Southport clubhouse, integrating the toilets with the away changing rooms. There was an embarrassed silence and a sympathetic pity in the changies as we had to listen to Blandie giving birth to the Sefton First Team.

**** Good prep from Southport there, removing the toilet seats before the Scousers arrive!!

***** In all my years at Sefton, the 3s have never done the 2s, “thumb twirl”, warm up.
And yes, in all those years, no one in the 3s has sustained any thumb injuries. That Lanky, sometimes I wonder if he’s in on some conspiracy thing, deliberately trying to continually get the 2s relegated.

The Match
Basically the ref has a serious senior moment today, and he got his scoring system wrong, recording tries in his ‘Kicks’ column and kicks in his ‘Tries’ column.
So at half time, with Southport scoring 6 tries and 2 conversions and Sefton with 3 converted tries it was 22-21.
Sefton actually slipped into the lead with a long, wind assisted penalty but Southport scored a flurry of late tries to win comfortably by 2 points.

The game was a tough one for Sefton, and each player deserves a mention:

1. Big Aaron stepped into prop again. Think he made a tactical blunder in the changies before the game, holding the team back so he could change his shirt. Many of the lads felt a bit sick after witnessing that, coupled with what Blandie had ‘contributed’ when he arrived *. What is Mrs Blandie feeding him?

* Again, good plot that, from Southport, omitting windows and extractor fans in the away changies.

2. Downing looked to have been knocked out again this week. Last week he got his free trip to la-la land at Lymm.
So it’s 2 weeks in a row he’s gotta be escorted from the pitch. He must feel that he’s still in New Zealand with all the special attention.

3. Gez at tighthead. He didn’t seem too happy there. He is loose.

4. Sefton’s very own Caster Semenya... Captain “Do as I say, not as I do” Gore trains with the Ladies on Tuesdays, rather than with the men. He’s brought along “Bennie” the second rower. Bennie actually played ok, and received a lot of special attention from the Southport 8, until she had to go off with a broken hair band.
Both Phil Ingram and Mike Walsh had solid games too, if you judge on not doing stupid things.

The back row. Fantastic effort from the 3 young lads here.
Student George ran around with a head like a busted couch. He’d managed to sprout tufts of hair from all the little openings in his scrum cap. It was quite comical, but the distraction was very effective
Man of the Match was Irish Alister. He has been improving every week, which is a tribute to dedication to training and tireless work ethic. Not only did Al overcome his fear of physical contact, he literally embraced it.

Then there was this guy that played 8 for us today. Nobody knew his name, McTeary picked him up in the Brookhouse car park **
Anyway, this guy looks to have played before and kept us in the game before he had to hobble off after a nasty knee to the Hamlings.
** Chris seems to spend an unhealthy amount of time in that carparl since his bin bagging. He hasn’t even got a dog!

At 9, it was great to have someone who can pass with either hand. Fast Eddie did a credible job, considering his option from the ruck.

Blandie, at 10, did his best in the heavy conditions, shouting at the forwards to pick and run all game. The odd occasion that he did unwittingly receive the ball, he was easily picked off on his slow diagonal run. He’d be better clenching his buttocks a bit more, that lad.

In the centres, Yacob the Greek and Lewis were devastating.
Yes! And devastating in a good way.
Unfortunately, with the “restriction” at No 10, the lads received very little ball.

Winger 1, Chris had spent most of this seasron filling in at 9, and we have lost every match.
Today, with the availability of some players that know what they’re doing, McTeary found himselft pushed out to the wing.
He is very close to his rightful position now, so I think it won’t be long, till Chris can get over that line. That’s the sideline of course.
During the game the mystery of Chris’ sideways frog jumps was solved, hugely assisting his tackle aversion tactics.
To his credit though, towards the end of the match, Chris bravely stepped forward to fill Downing’s boots at hooker, and now proudly boasts a 100% record for the uncontested scrums.

Whinger 2. A pretty quiet game from Brendo, saving his input till after the game.

At fullback, there was an excited Campo, relishing the sand belt that is the base of Southport’s pitches, who managed to put his bucket and spade to good use in those long and boring halves. Some of his efforts will be long remembered, with the damp conditions allowing firm and sturdy castles.

Kicking Update
Amazingly, everyone is starting to listen.
There was only one kick today, and, to be honest, it wasn’t bad.
It was from newbie Lewis, in an effort to pierce the impenetrable Southport defence.
He chases it through, gets a magical bounce is is through under the sticks.
I was rather pensive afterwards, telling him of the Third team kicking strategy.

The Miracle Try of Biblical Portions
Of course, the individual kick and chase for Lewis’ first try would normally have been the Three’ Try of the Season, except today, we were were treated to something akin to the alignment of many stars.
From a scrum, Blandie gets the ball, shuffles his 4 step diagonal unclenched run, and throws an amazingly "flat' pass that hits the Greek in the breadbasket, as he ran like Moses though the Red Sea.
As the Southportians swarm around him like a plague of locusts, Yacob throws a Hail Mary pass to the lightening fast Lewis, who, thank the Lord, sprints in under the posts!

The Achilles Heel of Sefton’s Achilles Heel:
How ironic. Captain “I get to pick the side” Gore hurt the back of his ankle.
Think it was done in the extended warm up, given his on field contribution.

Brendo’s Contribution
After the game, in the showers, the Sefton players were queuing for a bit of Brendo’s “Ori-Ginal Sauce” showed gel.
Brendo insists that, applied to certain areas, it gives a tingling sensation, more pleasurable than if it was his girlfriend.
A lot of the lads agreed with him.
But there are a few of us that have not even met Brendo’s (now ex-) girlfriend.

Ok, I have to admit, I didn’t recognise many of the Southport team today, but it was a well contested match. We are looking forward to seeing some familiar faces when Southport come to ours next year.

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 4 West results

West Park (St Helens) 3rd XV
Ormskirk 2nd XV
Liverpool St Helens 3rd XV


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Merseyside Police 11 21
9. Ormskirk 2nd XV 11 21
10. Firwood Waterloo 3rd XV 10 20
11. Southport 3rd XV 9 19
12. Sefton 3rd XV 11 18
13. Liverpool Collegiate 3rd XV 0 0
14. To be arranged 14 0 0

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