In my 25 years as Ace Sports Reporter Jock Rott I have been witness to many memorable days and matches. The obvious high point was the Pilkington Shield win at Twickenham, but that was at the start of it all for my jottings. In the following years, as MRFC climbed up through the league pyramid, some things stick in the mind for ever. Rudy Smith's Soviet-style training regime, involving players running across each others prone bodies, to toughen up the stomach muscles, apparently. Mike Bartlett's record scoring try season, only surpassed a few years later by Shaun "Harry Potter" Lancett's feat of becoming the top scoring prop in the country as he sneaked over the line 23 times, mostly from about a foot out. It wasn't so much yardage as inchage gained in his case. He was also responsible for instigating the bus buffets, breaking the pickled egg ingestion record at the same time.
There have been lows, of course, but that's all part of the game. When we went South West at level 5, we were faced with semi-pro sides who were clearly streets ahead. The last match at Exmouth saw us ship over 100 points - but we beat them at the Boat Race and various other beer related games. That game was notable for us leaving with 14 players, with George Roberts answering Ern's call whilst at a garden centre and motoring down to Devon to join the team. That's true club spirit and a lesson to the younger players - you don't give up even if you know you are going to be on the end of a thumping loss. Anyway, that particular season was also memorable for the hospitality we received, and I'm just thankful that the liver is able to regenerate itself.
For all the lows, this season included, I've enjoyed the ride and will continue to do so, hopefully for many years to come. I'm handing over the reporting duties, but am joining the ranks of the faithful, who line the field and tell each other huge lies about how much better it was in our day! I'll see you on the touchline, and possibly in the bar as well.
Peter a massive thank-you for being a true club man, who not just in this role but as a long time committee member has contributed so much to the strong club we are.