By Martin Lancaster
Sefton seconds finally get a win away at Glossop, has the curse been broken?
---- The Crying Game ----
Glossop away! Enough to strike fear into any Sefton player. Over an hours journey, and has its own separate eco system, mainly involving heavy rain or snow. All week I expected cry-offs, maybe Christian Caine with another phantom broken toe, Wet Lettuce with more Spanish flu, or Precious with any number of ailments. However, by Saturday morning, nothing! Not even a sniffle, I was thinking my phone was broken. Alright, Perry Caine Snr. did cry-off but I had never really had a confirmation off him anyway, and he was replaced by his son, Growler, very unexpected.
A shortage of props this week meant a call up for Andy Barnes, however he would need picking up from his work on security at JL airport. Who could we ask for this special job but no other than Princess sHambling, both socially awkward, they would get on fine together.
Anyone who’s met Plastic Andy will quickly understand the type of calibre left in charge of our lives when flying on planes. To describe Andy is difficult, however maybe the game of Top Trumps would serve as a great analogy of his talents. Andy is the card you want to get rid of, the Ornithomimus of dinosaurs, the MG Midget of British sports cars, the Herpes of deadly viruses*. So low on scoring, that you could never win no matter which category you choose.
*I don’t think Herpes is deadly, but you don’t want it.
You may think I am cruel, but it is ok, I didn’t leave sHambling alone with Andy, both Paddy McCleery and Alex Hanham were also stuck in the princess’ car. Andy could tell Paddy all about x-ray machines, whilst Paddy could tell him about his suspect Irish heritage.
---- The Game ----
Eighteen we had, even Growler turned up with his tanned leather travel bag, maybe he got confused and thought he was going to a Travel Lodge. The weather was unexpected, with no rain, and no snow, possibly we were briefly in the eye of the storm.
Wet Lettuce at flanker was on strict instructions to make sure young Caine didn't have to make a tackle, With Precious captaining the side, Sefton started well and immediately went on the attack. A number of rucks on Glossop’s line led to space on the blind side and Precious was able to put JP ‘the Beard’ Ellis in to go round under the posts.
However, from the re-start it became obvious that with no Pistol Pete, there was no competent catchers. Mark Dobie looked the other way, Growler kept silent, and Andy Barnes hugged the touchline hoping it wouldn’t come his way. Luke Griffiths practically moved out of the way to avoid the ball hitting him. As a consequence Glossop gain control of the ball and are eventually rewarded with a converted try.
Sefton regain control with some possession inside the oppositions half and use a maul to get within striking distance of their line. With Andy ‘Top Trump’ Barnes breaking from the back, he was able to go over for a try.
The Beard is in action again with Glossop unable to stop his marauding run through their defence to score his second try. Then an initial break by John Leight has Glossop scrambling back in defence, and with Christian Caine in support he was able to off-load for young Caine to step his way through the middle to score under the posts.
A final first half try came from Matt Simpson who was able to break through the middle to score by the posts. It could have been more if Sean Muirhead’s wild pass out wide hadn’t gone forward by five metres. Sean has yet to understand that you are meant to kick the ball forward, and pass it backwards.
Alex Hanham came on to give Sefton an extra option in the lineout, and Tom James replaced a shamed Sean Muirhead. Steve Downing also came on at back row.
Glossop start the second half with an early try, but that is soon put right when Matt Simpson gets a couple of tries in quick succession, with Glossop unable to stop him dodging his way through.
There will be no ‘Who is Sean Muirhead’ feature this week, despite repeated justification during the game. The ‘all-rounder’ continually reminding me that he can play anywhere in the backs, if I wanted to put him back on. However, I can’t condone bullying, no matter how much it is justified. Instead, we have a new feature.
---- What is up with Steve Downing? ----
The troubled flanker has had his problems, with his repeated concussion, we are still unsure how coherent he is. His continued blank expression provides no clue to his state of mind. After carrying out two high tackles, with a final warning from the ref, he eventually took himself off. I suspect it might be due to too much cupping, a strange masochistic therapy that he is into. Don't let Downing cup you!
Glossop manage to pull back another converted try, but John Leight immediately responds, when he gets the ball on the wing and breezes through to score a try under the posts.
Despite my pre-match instructions, Christian Caine had to make at least ten tackles, which I pointed out to Wet Lettuce. There then followed a few expletives from the fiery Spaniard, proving that his Scouse lessons are going well.
Another strong performance from the Beard, a hat-trick of tries for sexy Matt, and Precious kicking all eight of the conversions, however all this was irrelevant with Princess sHambling promised the man of the match award for enduring Top Trump for the journey to Glossop. Some peoples souls are easily bought.
Unaware to me however, on the way back, Princess deviously switched cards, taking Luke Griffiths (high scoring Luke Skywalker) back in his car, and leaving me with Top Trump (low scoring Jar Jar Binks). The scum bag, his man of the match may have to be revoked.
Next week the seconds are at home against Prenton, I am off now to try and con Aaron into taking back Andy ‘Top Trump’ Barnes.
---- Sefton Mystery Reporter ----
An extremely thick envelope was pushed under my door, and inside was another hard hitting interview. Who is Sean Muirhead? Well hopefully the Sefton Mystery Reporter can reveal the truth about this anomaly.
SMR: Where have you been Sean?
SM: What do you mean?
SMR: You suddenly appear at Sefton, yet there is no history or record of your existence before then. It’s as if you’ve been locked away for the first half of your life.
SM: As you know, I don’t like to shout and scream about my achievements, I tend to keep to myself.
SMR: That's not exactly true, but what about friends?
SM: I didn’t have many people to play with when I was young, I mainly stayed in with my family.
SMR: No friends, stayed in a lot, no one has ever seen you before. Is there something you’re not telling us, are you any relation to Josef Fritzl?
SM: Why would you say that, I had a very loving relationship with my family.
SMR: I’m sure you did, your dad must be very forgiving. It just seems you’ve had a very isolated life, how old are you now, about thirty five?
SM: No, I’m only twenty five.
SMR: Wow, twenty-five! You don't feel that's a bit late in life to take up rugby, someone of your build and effeminacy?
SM: No, I actually played when I was younger, but I've a terrible memory. I have a very stressful work life balance, with no natural light where I work, hence my pale, sickly looking skin complexion.
SMR: Your job seems very vague, what do you actually do?
SM: I work in metallurgical engineering, which involves extracting metals.
SMR: So you’re a metal detector, that doesn’t seem stressful, isn’t that just a hobby for weekends?
SM: No, not in a field, it’s more complex than that, I separate metals from their ore. They lock me away in a laboratory, I wear a white coat and everything.
SMR: So stuck in a basement somewhere, are you sure it’s you that wears the white coat? It all sounds very interesting, you will have to tell me about it sometime.
SM: Yes it is, the process is quite……….
SMR: But not now, I don’t think I would have the will to live. So you are really living the dream, how come you have no friends?
SM: Hey, what about all my mates I'm going to Malta with?
SMR: Well Campo says you invited yourself to the tour, and it's a Veterans tour, everyone thought you were thirty-five.
Let’s talk about your rugby.
SM: Yes let’s, have I told you I can play in every backs position, from nine to fifteen.
SMR: I think you have mentioned it once or twice. Does this not compromise your performance though, more a Jack of all trades, but master of nothing?
SM: I don’t think so, it just makes me a substandard replacement for every position. Plus I can kick the ball, not where I want it to go, but God loves a trier.
SMR: Yes, let’s talk about that, you’re kicking is reputed to be the worse in the club, even worse than Jay Evans.
SM: I don't think I'm that bad. Ultimately, all I want to be is accepted.
SMR: That is very needy. Is that why you got involved in coaching? Or more specifically, coaching young, impressionable women, given that you are quite obviously single?
SM: Yes, I think I have finally found something I’m good at. You see I have always been able to talk a good game, now I can talk as much as I like, and they have to listen.
SMR: It does sound like you have found your calling, but what about the open spaces, does that not bother you?
SM: I did not grow up locked in a basement, stop going on about it!
SMR: Sorry, you are a bit touchy about it though. What have you got planned for the future, what do you want to achieve?
SM: Well, I would like to be able to play every position on the pitch, then I would be irreplaceable.
SMR: That would be quite an achievement, although you’re not really built for prop.
SM: How hard could it be?
SMR: Thank you for talking to me Sean, you’ve confirmed my fears, you are deluded.
SM: Are we finished, we haven’t even talked about my leadership qualities ………… Oh, he’s gone.
Sean is currently passing the wisdom of his many playing positions onto the Sefton Ladies, let's hope someone else is coaching passing and kicking.