Beast From The East 2.0 Tamed
Loo boys delighted with the opportunity to romp in the snow
"How marvellous" was the cry across Sefton and beyond, sheer delight at reading the text..It's still on! We were all very lucky to be able to schlep through the snow to Caldy for their annual junior tournament, the reason it was still on became apparent with the twin apparitions of the £5 car park fee collector and a perfectly playable 1st team pitch. To be fair to Caldy they had spent time and effort in organising the event and were entitled to seek some reward...it was just so cold!
Once a pork batch (or is it barm / bap?) complete with Haggis was despatched and the cloud cleared from the hills to reveal the beautiful snow covered Halkyn mountain and Clwydian range on the other side of the Dee, spirits were somewhat lifted. It was good to see both 'Loo and Caldy U13's in action...and finally an ice cream for a junior tourist to Parma, just don't ask who (or what) shared the treat.
Onto the main event after the ice cream and haggis starters. 'Loo took on Ellesmere Port who were complete with a number of solidly built lads who had legally bullied, or more to the point ran through a Waterloo 'B' team a couple of years earlier. It was slightly different today as despite the weather the ball was moved swiftly and legs were stretched, 'Loo running out 19-0 winners.
Next up were Caldy themselves. They battled manfully for the majority of the game and kept things tight but into the second half 'Loo eased through the gears and trotted to a 36-0 win.
So the round robin format threw up a final game against Sedgley Park with winner take all, indeed Sedge needed only to draw thanks to a superior points difference. These short festival games can be good fun, but also produce some nerves as a try conceded can lead to rushed mistakes as the game is chased, so despite Sedge applying some pressure it was good to see a converted score and a wisely taken penalty move 'Loo into a 10 point lead deep into the second half.
Coach Brookman went full Mourinho and dripped his five substitutes onto the pitch over the period of a couple of minutes. I thought he shouted "Don't go down" to his loose-head, as in don't pack down for the scrum, however he comically interpreted it as "Go down" and rolled round the floor in front of both bemused packs whilst awaiting substitution. I'm not entirely sure the Sedge contingent saw the funny side of the moment and whilst I always enjoy our trips to Manchester I don't recall previously hearing the adjectives used to describe the theatrics on display.
Play resumed with just enough time for Sedgley to score an unconverted try and the final whistle was immediately blown on the bitterly cold days entertainment. Thanks to Caldy for hosting and to the other teams that traveled in foul weather when perhaps they could have cried off.
Credit to all of the boys for keeping busy in the biting wind and indeed supporting when on the sidelines. Benedict's goal kicking can be singled out, Alex's passing showed invention and Rhys made some clever breaks from centre, all backed up by busting runs from back rowers and no little pace from the back three.