Bye, bye Hickey
A First team member since 1989, he has racked up over seven hundred and fifty appearances..
Saturday 22 April 2017
Bristol Saracens 34 – Wells 22
For Wells the season ended as it started back in September with defeat at the hands of Bristol Saracens. This though unlike the earlier match, was played in brilliant sunshine at the hosts ground at Cribbs Causeway and was an entertaining affair with enough venom and edge in the game to distant it from the usual end of season affair.
The day however will probably be more remembered for the final appearance of a certain Richard Hickman. A first team member since his debut at the age of eighteen in 1989, he has racked up over seven hundred and fifty games in the Wells shirt. Not just as a player, but also a Club Administrator, (he is the Club Chairman), Richard has put in far more than his fair share into the success of the club over recent years. He and his wife Dawn, who is the Club Secretary, are moving abroad so in effect ending a dynasty at Wells Rugby Club. I am sure that current players, ex-players, spectators and friends from virtually every club in the South West will wish them well and hopefully meet up again in a few years time.
Back to the game, which was played in front of a large crowd who were stunned into silence after less that two minutes when Callum Stonier put Adam Withers in for a try in the corner. However, some rather slipshod tackling and the ability to concede numerous turnovers let the home side rack up twenty two first half points, despite suffering a Yellow Card for not retreating ten metres at a quickly taken penalty. So come the interval, Wells are down by twenty two points to eight, Dave Wheatley having kicked a penalty in the eighteenth minute.
A major change to the Wells lineup at the start of the second half, Aaron Cook making just his second appearance of the season. It seemed however if he had never been away, the old skills were there. The accurate and variable kicking, the show and goes and the ability to burst through the smallest gap. It was his typical cross field kick that was gathered by James Phillips to score after ten minutes of the half and Aaron then converted. Bristol Saracens hit back and from the resulting re-start the live wire prop Chris Tout was rather harshly Yellow Carded for running into and opponent who appeared to be deliberately blocking. Back came Wells, an individual try from Cook, plus a conversion, Wells just five points behind. However any hopes of a win, or indeed bonus point were crushed when the home teams second row crashed over in the eightieth minute for a converted try.
So ended a rather disjointed season for Wells, in effect, three coaches, numerous personnel, the only constants seemed to be props Sean Heggarty, Chris Tout plus the outstanding skipper, Lewis Cohen. Behind the scrum, Dave Wheatley usually appeared somewhere, youngsters Adam Withers and Charlie Willcox made more appearances than most and showed that the production line is still up and running and Callum Stonier seemed able to play in the backs and forwards with equal versatility. Harry Speed is another name to be remembered and stalwarts like Jake Knight, although limited by injury was always one hundred per cent player.
One other person to mention, Maizie Phillips, the First Team physio. Over the past four seasons I cannot remember her missing a game whether in Cornwall, Gloucestershire, or any points in between, she is without a doubt a valued member of the team.
Last chance to vote for your player of the season. firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date 30 April.