A Numbers Game
Numbers are what Sefton needed this week, in all teams, unfortunately for the seconds there was no saviours in the eleventh hour.
------ The Crying Game ------
What a week, all three teams away, all baying for the attention of a small amount of available players. With the second team tethered to the first teams sinking ship, which is determined to pull us down with them. I can almost see the Bush Fighter looking for the life raft, waving a pint of milk in the air, and shouting “I’ve got it, I’m coming back over!”
Luckily the engineer’s game was cancelled, and the first and thirds gorged themselves on the offerings, otherwise it would have been worse. Managing to persuade the firsts they only needed two subs, rather than take off the second teams supposedly magic player tree, gave us a reprieve, and by the end of Friday night with the help of the colts we had somehow managed to get fifteen.
---- When Saturday Comes ----
Our Spaniard Broccoli cries off, another dose of Spanish flu. He must be very unhealthy, perhaps he should start eating meat again, because this vegetarian diet is not good for him. He is no way representative of broccoli, a tough vegetable with a hardy exterior, which is adaptable to the harsh British climate. Maybe wet lettuce best describes our Mediterranean cousin, all limp and easy spoiled.
The firsts also came calling, with John Fenton also showing a weak, feeble immune system, I didn’t even know he was Spanish, he certainly doesn’t come from his claimed hardy Yorkshire stock. The firsts take Jay Dempsey as replacement, who is going to do all the tackling now?
With the eleventh hour approaching, it was now time to text everyone, even considering Graeme Jones, however it was a windy day, he would probably be fixing his blown down shed again. With no success, thirteen brave souls travel to Helsby (the clue is in the name), to face an ‘over indulged Xmas’ Capenhurst side, full of heavy set forwards and backs.
With a full side this would’ve been easy pickings for Sefton’s mobile pack, and fast backs, but Capenhurst played exactly how we expected them to play, trundling up front, and rarely going out wide. Within ten minutes they had already scored two tries through their mauls, with Sefton unable to get a hold of the ball.
Sefton eventually responded with a try of their own, at last in possession of the ball. A penalty five metres from the oppositions try line is taken quickly by Precious, and before they could react he puts Brian Gardner through a gap and over for a try.
However, Capenhurst recover their points difference with a crash ball right through the centres and under the posts. To add to this, Brian Gardner hobbles off with an injury, which not only puts us two players down, but also took us to uncontested scrums, depriving Sefton of its scrum dominance. It is suggested that Brian put too much effort into his three step try, and should heed to Pistol Pete’s philosophy, two steps is enough.
You would have thought that Sefton would have struggled, but to Gardner’s dismay we actually played better without him, coming back with the perfect response. A break by Sexy Matt put Sefton inside the oppositions half, and they applied the pressure at the breakdown. A space opened up on the right, and the ball went out to Jamie Luck who stepped passed the defender to score under the posts. Precious converted.
With Sefton’s lack of full back, the wingers Paddy Walsh, and Tom James did their best to cover the empty space left, but Capenhurst used the opportunity to repeatedly kick over the top, thus keeping Sefton pinned in their half. An occasional break by Sexy Matt and Princess came, but with no real opportunity to get it out wide and around Capenhurst. Eventually, the break came for Capenhurst, who managed to find the gaps, and break the deadlock to score another try. Capenhurst ended the half opting for a penalty kick, which demonstrated how well Sefton defended.
In the second half Sefton started the strongest, immediately putting pressure on the opposition’s line. From this Pistol Pete was able to slip off the side of a ruck, take two steps, and go over for a try. Converted by Precious.
---- Order Returns ----
Over the last couple of games I have been worried about our second row’s aspirations. Not only has two step Pete been over exerting himself, but Mark Dobie even had the cheek to run with the ball the other week. I am pleased to report that the Universe balance has returned with Pete limiting himself to his regulated ‘two steps’ and Dobie dropping to the ground as soon as he receives the ball. Armageddon has been diverted.
As the game went on more space opened up, with Sefton’s twelve players understandably getting tired. A ten minute period at the end finally broke Sefton, and Capenhurst, with plenty of subs were able to stretch their lead to a sizable majority.
In the closing minutes, Tom James showed his wild teenage side, picking on one off the Capenhurst players. Unfortunately, as he found out, older players don’t go down as easily as his usual younger opposition when hit. In the melee, one of their players and Jamie Luck managed to get themselves a yellow card, who would have thought it, he was doing so well.
A great effort by Sefton, in what was still an enjoyable game, the ref controlled it well, and blew up five minutes early seeing that Sefton were now down to eleven, and starting to fade. Man of the match went to Sexy Matt with some strong running that really should have deserved a try.
In the end, something good has come out of this, the first team have recorded a victory for the first time in ages. It seems our sacrifice wasn’t in vain. The first team ship will stay afloat for now, but whether it is a temporary repair, we are yet to see. You can keep your pint of milk Caine, after three years away, it has more than likely gone sour.
Next week the seconds are away again, this time against Village Spartans, I suspect there will be quite a bit of interest in this game.
---- Sefton Mystery Reporter ----
Reluctant second team captain, the ginger beast which is Kiev ‘Shrek’ Mainwaring has been deeply probed by the Sefton Mystery Reporter.
SMR: Shrek that is an unusual nickname, how did you get it?
KM: Very funny, you’re not very observant are you!
SMR: Oh I see, how do you manage with your infliction? I don’t suppose you set the bar very high.
KM: I don’t think being ginger is an infliction.
SMR: I was actually talking about your massive head, but now you have mentioned it, what about your gingerness?
KM: I think it’s really important to embrace your Celtic roots.
SMR: But you’re not even Scottish, how did this happen?
KM: I am a freak of nature.
SMR: You don’t interact well with the sun either do you.
KM: Every day I wish for clouds, that is true.
SMR: You have been blessed though, somehow you even got someone to marry you.
KM: I’ve relied on money, a sense of humour, and a soundproof basement.
SMR: I wondered why we haven’t seen her for a while. How have you managed to gain this level of trust, you seem to have hidden yourself in this coat of respectability.
KM: What do you mean?
SMR: Well good job, captaining the second team, even coaching a junior side, lovable Kiev. Has everyone forgotten your darker side?
KM: That was in the past, people easily forget what they don’t want to remember. All they care about is that I take their kids for a couple of hours, so they can have some peace.
SMR: That is a very broad brush, you can’t think that is true of all parents.
KM: Have you got kids?
SMR: ………………..Fair point. Let’s talk about your playing career, you have been quite low on the radar, and managed to avoid the attention of the first team until now. How have you managed that?
KM: It is very easy, I have a very particular set of skills.
SMR: What skills are they?
KM: I’m rubbish.
SMR: That can’t be true, you wouldn’t have been picked for the first team otherwise.
KM: Are you kidding, they will take anyone in that team, have you seen the Bush Fighter play?
SMR: I suppose your right. You are very similar to the Bush Fighter, both talk a good game, both been second team captain, both abandoned ship.
KM: Not really that similar, I didn’t leave the ship when it was sinking, it was in great shape actually, I would never do anything that despicable.
SMR: So you left a perfectly good ship, and joined one that needs constantly bailing out, where is your logic?
KM: I like a challenge, I’m a bit of a masochist in that way, there is nothing better than knowing all my efforts are in vain, and all I will get is a good beating.
SMR: So noble. Finally, what about your future plans, what are your aspirations?
KM: Well I would like to take on the second team captaincy full time, obviously Lanky has done a great job, and it will be hard to emulate, but if I could achieve half of what he has done I will be very happy. He is a great captain, I’d say legendary.
SMR: Legendary, I like it. Kiev thank you for talking to me, sorry we can’t talk more, but I believe you have to get home.
KM: Yes, I can’t leave the wife at home too long, she has a tendency to try and escape, haha women!
SMR: Haha (awkward laugh), I am genuinely quite scared right now.
KM: I have that effect.
Kiev Mainwaring can be seen playing for the first team this Saturday, donations of factor 50 sun screen are greatly appreciated, his wife doesn't need any.