Yet another month where games have been few and far between. Obviously the weather has caused problems but the situation has not been helped by other teams failing to fulfil the fixtures.
Our first game of the new year saw us at home to Birkenhead Park. We should have played Park earlier in the year but they could not get a side out and forfeited the points. This time they did turn up but only brought eleven players! This meant that the game could go ahead but that we could only play with twelve on the pitch at any one time. The situation was then made worse by the fact that Park’s eleven men apparently did not include anyone capable of playing in the front row. Accordingly we had to play unopposed five man scrums. This tended to negate any advantage we had by having an extra player because we had a very strong pack available and had expected to dominate the scrums. Inevitably what followed was a very open game (which made it tough for some of the bigger forwards!) but we eventually won 46 – 32. At least it was a game but, as Andy Broadbent commented on the website it was “rugby but not as we know it”
The following week should have seen us at home to Penrith but they cried off (again!) and we were awarded the points. The month ended with us at home to Stoke. The game was in doubt on the morning of the match because of the condition of the pitch. A big thank you therefore to Vando who worked on the pitch all morning to make sure it was playable. I should also say a big thank you to Stoke. At 11.00 in the morning I was not able to guarantee that the pitch would be playable but, nevertheless, Stoke were still prepared to travel. Many other teams would have used this as an excuse to cry off! What followed was an exciting game of rugby which we eventually won by 17 – 12.
The month has ended with us in second place in the league. The teams immediately below us do, however, have games in hand so it will be a struggle to stay there. Hopefully, however, February will be a more exciting month. Next Sunday sees us away to Sandbach in the quarter finals of the Cheshire Cup. The following week sees us at home to Caldy for the final game of the league programme. It does look as if Caldy are going to win the league but it would still be great if we could put one over them. Hopefully we can get lots of supporters to come along on the day. The league season then ends and, depending on our final league position, we will then find ourselves either in a cup competition involving teams from our league and Yorkshire or in the League Cup.
Cheshire U20’s opened their championship season with a 36 – 13 defeat at the hands of Yorkshire. Tom Bills played the entire game at fly half and contributed two penalties and a conversion. Jack Quinn came on as a substitute in the second half. Congratulations to both players!