One win from four matches doesn't do justice to the quality of the Under 9's rugby against the might of Caldy.
“Whites”: Ajay, Alfie, Archie, Jamie, Joe, Louis, Owain, Sam, Scott, Tim
“Whites” 2 - 3 Caldy “B”
Winnington take the start and attempt to move forward quickly, but Caldy halt the advance just as quick. The ball is recycled well several times by Park as they hit the Caldy wall of defence time and time again until the ball is lost to the home team. Now Park are on the defence but they too stand firm and demonstrate that they can emulate the home team’s defence. These sequences are repeated several times until Alfie breaks free and makes a run from deep in his own hall, across the field to put the ball down – but no try is given as there is confusion over the pitch markings. All players look at the ball as Caldy pick it up and regain ground made against them before the Winnington defence manage to hold the advance. A scrum is given to Caldy and the subsequent play ends with a try to the home team. Winnington restart the play and both teams swap possession and defence between them. Caldy break from the half way line and Joe makes a last ditch tackle to stop what was thought to be a sure try for the home team, Louis nicks the ball and takes it back to the half way line before Caldy snatch the ball to resume an attack – again another individual run is stopped what was thought to be a try, this time by Alfie. Ajay takes the ball and surges forward and swerves several times to take the game back to the host. Winnington recycle the ball several times as Caldy stop our boys, this time the loss of the ball does end in a try against Park 2-0. Another start by Winnington commences another battle for possession of both the ball and ground. Scott attempts to bulldoze his way through to the try line. The maul ensues until the ball is moved out and finds Alfie – this time he makes no mistake as he breaks free and scores. 1-2 at half time. The 2nd half is much the same as the 1st half. Tim has a go at breaking through as does Louis and Owain also having a go at sprinting forward. Caldy are doing the same so both defences have to work hard at stopping the individual runs. This sequence ends with the home team scoring. Another restart and another hard fought game between both sides, occasionally possession is swapped. Finally Ajay makes a dash that gets Winnington a score and this ends the game 3 – 2 to Caldy. A well fought and quite even game.
“Whites” 2 - 8 Caldy “B”
Caldy start the game with a very quick throw to the wing and dash to the Winnington try line 1 – 0 to Caldy and Winnington have been taken totally surprised. Park take the re-start and attempt to do the same thing as the home team but are halted. The play sees the ball change hands several times as each team seem to each recycle the ball 3 or 4 times, lose it and then regain possession. However, it is the home team who break 1st and score 2 – 0 to Caldy. Restarting once more, Winnington take the game to Caldy. Winnington make ground and lose the ball – Caldy wings sprint forward and force Park to tackle hard in their own half. Eventually Ajay gets the ball and weavers through various defenders to putt the ball down and give our boys a lift 2 – 1. However Caldy again take a sprint immediately from the re-start but are stopped by a huge tackle from Alfie. Taking possession Winnington push hard but cannot get a break through. Eventually Caldy get a 3rd and that is the way the 1st half ends 3 – 1 to Caldy. The 2nd half is a completely differing story. Caldy score 2 quick tries and this seems to deflate Winnington. More scores occur which do not reflect the hard play between the 2 teams. Caldy take their chances were Winnington do not. This run ends with a score 8 – 1 to Caldy. However finally Winnington through Alfie put a try down for the Game to end 8 – 2 to Caldy.
“Blues”: Elliott, Ollie, James, Aiden, Toby, Dan, Lewis G, Callum, Lewis M, Alex
“Blues” 2 – 8 Caldy “A”
The home team start with determination but dogged resistance from the Blues keeps Caldy at bay. Caldy recycle their possession well, keeping the ball and passing out wide but can’t break through solid tackling from the visitors. Ultimately the pressure bears fruit and Caldy open the scoring. Park take the ball upfield and recycle well with Elliott mauling magnificently. A handling error hands possession back to the home team who take full advantage to land their second try. A dubious decision from the referee penalises Park and Caldy score again to open up a 3-0 lead but the visitors keep their heads up and take the battle to Caldy. Solid rucking allows scrum half Lewis G to feed fly half Toby who launches a surgical break, slicing open the home defence. Good hands and excellent recycling keeps the pressure on Caldy but the Blues just can’t break down the excellent resistance. The second half starts with a loss of concentration but a lenient referee allows the Blues to restart. Alex tears into the defence but a handling error allows Caldy to regain possession and score after some rare missed tackles. Caldy score twice more as they keep possession, recycle well and keep options open until a suitable opportunity arises. The Blues are not downhearted and keep plugging away. An great break from Alex takes the ball up to the try line where it is recycled well, allowing Aiden to score. The Blues are still celebrating and concede a soft try straight from the restart. James launches himself at Caldy, injuring himself in the process but sets the ball up nicely for the ubiquitous Elliott to drive through to score. A try-saving tackle from Alex forces Caldy into touch but Park can’t capitalise and missed tackles allow Caldy to score again at the death to seal an 8-2 victory. Although worthy winners, the margin of victory doesn’t adequately reflect the quality of he rugby played by the Blues at times and their dogged defence.
“Blues” 3 – 2 Caldy “B”
James, honourably wounded in the first game, sits out the start of the second but manfully rejoins the battle later on. Possession is initially surrendered but solid defence from the Blues forces a turnover but Park knock on with the line at their mercy. A great run from Dan scythes through the defence, breaking tackles with an almost reckless abandon. James returns to the fray and immediately nails his man. A try-saving tackle from Alex and great defence from everyone else keeps Caldy at bay until they cross the try line, only to have he try disallowed for a double movement. Blues are forced into touch and Caldy score at the end of the half to take a slim lead at half-time. A good mazy run from Lewis G sets the second half up nicely. Lewis M at scrum half keeps a regular flow of ball to his backs, appreciating the solid foundations laid by his forwards. James is launched on the crash ball and sets Elliott up to score. More clinical tackling keeps Caldy at bay but eventually a lapse in concentration and missed tackles allow Caldy to score and retake the lead. The Blues can smell that this game is here for the taking and redouble their efforts. Dan is forced into touch just short of the line. A double tackle from Callum and Aiden haul down the opposition allowing Toby to pick up the loose ball and tear through the Caldy defence to level the scores. Solid defending from both sides makes a draw look the most likely result until Dan sees a chink in the Caldy armour and breaks through to run virtually the full length of the pitch to snatch victory as the referee blows his whistle. A cracking game of rugby from both teams, helped by a first-class referee.
Enormous thanks to Carl Baker (Joe’s Dad) for the “Whites” reports.