Drop Goal Drama Downs Dogged Blackburn
By John O'Ryan
U14s fight to the last in a fantastic final
Boy, what a game. Liverpool Collegiate came with a massive squad of massive lads and gave us one hell of a game, doing an excellent job against the wind and up hill in the first half to nullify our attack over and over again. It would be fair to say that the lads in blue only entered our half of the pitch twice in the first 25 minutes, but the damage they did was the difference in the end. The right wing player, sporting a shaggy beatles cut and a pair of his nana's tights, scorched down the wing in the second minute, only to by literally scythed down by Theo, who sadly did his ankle in in the action and straight away we were down a great kicker and one of our biggest assets. Ivan was called aboard to continue his heroics from last week and sure enough the lanky lad was kept quiet enough. Blackburn proceeded to hammer away at the men from the Mersey, but sadly to no avail, with strike after strike held up and held back. Burn were possibly guilty of some greedy play, with putting pressure on each other and were certainly not delivering anything like the accuracy they enjoyed against Vale of lune and in the end this proved to be the difference. With the last minute of the half to play, the mop top changed wing and sprinted on to the 10 meter line for Collegiates second foray into our half, only for Arthur to escort him off the pitch. While we won our lineout, the resulting pass to Arthur had him stretching and a wee knock was to cost us dearly, the Blues scoring off the resulting scrum after some nifty forward interplay. The conversion was missed and we went into the break unbelievably 5-0 down!!
The half time huddle was all about the positives, we were in control and we were unlucky to be behind, start positive and carry on the good work. Collegiate had made a lot of changes with yet more behemoths entering the fray and it was not too long before they managed to pass us down the right wing to score their second. A third try from another scrum which saw the ball ping back out quicker and harder than it went in, made things look pretty bleak at 17 -0. But our lads are made of better stuff than that, and our next attack finally paid dividends with Tobi finally managing to shake off the Collegiate lads to muscle under the posts. Tom stroked over the con, giving us a sniff of a chance and our heads went up again. More sustained pressure finally paid off with another great run from Jacob putting us over the whitewash right in the corner 17-12 with 6 mins left on the clock, could this be a fantasy finish??
Collegiate were rattled and in fairness their coaching crew settled the nerves, reintroducing players from the first half to bolster their pack, which began to dominate scrums and lineouts. An injury to Seb, meaning the reintroduction of Kyle along with an injury to Jaydens neck meant the last 5 minutes went to uncontested scrums which both sides did not really capitalise on. The killer blow, after a sustained amount of pressure from Liverpool, turned out to be a superb bit of play from their 10 who calmly dropped a goal in the last minute to take the game to an 8 point gap. In fairness to our lads we battled right to the final whistle, but today was not to be our day. A great achievement none the less and we look forward not to Belfast in 3 weeks time when we can have all that fun all over again.
Todays finalists - Jayden, Josh, Kyle, Seb, Ted, Harry, Lewis, Tobi, Tom, Chris, Harvey and Mitchell
Calum, Ivan, Tom, Jacob, Johnny, Theo, Harry, Arthur
Thank you boys - you did us all immensely proud.