Match report following the U15 cup final.
Tre Volte Campioni
Fylde was the fantastic venue for the fifth consecutive Lancashire Cup final for Waterloo U15, playing perennial rivals Heaton Moor on a bright but blustery day in front of a great crowd. The Hors d’oeuvres came in the shape of Sefton U14 edging past Wigan before the main event was served up, and what a treat it was to see Joe McClelland gather in line out ball from a penalty right in the corner, stuff it up his jumper and be driven over for the score by his fellow forwards. The joy on his face was clear for all to see and settled nerves early on. Just as pivotal was five minutes of hard work right on the Waterloo try line, the boys dug in and refused to buckle despite several of Moor’s bigger lads crashing into them. Ball was turned over lines were cleared.
Many of the boys are familiar to each other from playing school and increasingly Lancashire and Sale fixtures so the ‘Loo boys were aware of threat posed both by the pace of Heaton Moor and their ability to bash away up front, however it was ‘Loo who scored again with Joe McClelland going over again after a tap penalty close to the posts. Next Jakob broke clear, jinking past a couple of defenders before rounding the Moor full-back. This is usually the cue for a try, such is his pace but the defender managed to turn and catch Jakob, a fantastic moment of play from both boys.
‘Loo were now camped in the Moor half but sloppy line-out ball bobbled and bounced, giving the opposition the chance to football down the pitch for a score of their own. 12-5 at half time would have been a travesty so it was good to see Jakob weave his way through after several phases of possession deep in Moor territory. 19-5 at half time.
The second half began with ‘Loo knocking at the door, Adam Spence was able to demonstrate his pace and balance, going over for a score before another from Alex Barker was ruled out for a marginally forward pass. The first ten minutes of the half was played entirely in the Moor half, no doubt frustrating when they were looking to get back into the game. Keir Gordon set the tone during this period with a fantastic crunching tackle on the Moor number 8. The crowd didn’t know whether to cheer or gasp at the tackle such was its ferocity, thankfully photographic evidence confirms it was legal and the player was unhurt.
Moor dug in and scored a try of their own but time was running out and they had to threw caution to the wind, throwing the ball around and blasting down the right touchline for the final score of the match.
But it was to be Waterloo’s day, and a fantastic achievement to come through the season to claim the cup again, for this victory means a hat-trick of County success, ever since the boys have played on full size pitches they have ended the season as champions. This is of course testament to their own talent but nothing could be achieved without the knowledge, experience and management of Coach Brookman and his team, thanks for everything. For several of the players this was their first final, forcing their way in having been around the fringes of the final squad for a number of years. Forgive me for mentioning my own lad but for Ewan to recognise he would struggle to force his way into the team on the wing and convert to 2nd row was a bold step and brought about its rewards with a starting place. Proud dad moment.
So, with the entrée consumed it was left to Southport U16 to serve up dessert and win their own cup against hosts Fylde. Very satisfying for the Mutch family whose younger son Alfie captained the ‘Loo team and older boy Oliver represented ‘Port (there was a nasty injury to a Southport player necessitating a lengthy delay, hope all is well). This also meant a hat-trick of victories on the day for Merseyside teams. Well done to all and thanks to Lancashire Rugby and Fylde for a great day.
Final Score 26-17.
Updated 22:00 - 2 May 2017 by Jeanette Colebourne