The date was 7th January, the venue was Norton and the opponents were York RI.
The players arrived with a punctuality rarely associated with the Medics, all of whom seemed in good spirits (apart from Jimmy Mac who was so clearly disgusted that he had to leave the prosperous South for the less privileged North that he turned up wearing what looked like his gear from Princes William and Harry’s Boxing Day hunt) with a few boys clearly having over indulged over the festive period and carrying slightly more than just contact weight. However Ali was able to shake this fact off without looking too disheartened. The standard greetings following a holiday ensued, where one is unsure whether a handshake will suffice or if a hug s required. A few unfortunate souls underestimated how much certain people had missed them and ended up with their hand being crushed between their own and their team mate’s crotch. The chat hadn’t improved much either with conversation extending from questions such as “did you have a good Christmas?” all the way to, “yes, thank you, mine was lovely, how was yours?”. Once the niceties had been exchanged, our rather oversized convoy of 8 or so cars left for Norton.
On arrival, we were reminded of just how exposed the pitch was to the elements, with a strong North-Easterly making life difficult to our already questionable kicker and hooker. Having realised this, Mr. Clark decided that it would play in our favour to play into the wind in the 1st half, much as we did last time out against Halifax. Following the kick off, Medics had questions asked of their defensive line, with a well drilled York pack picking and going at any opportunity. However, Medics came up with the answers to these and were able to soak up the barrage and waited patiently for turn overs and handling errors to hand over possession. Some good build up work from Sheffield began to open up some holes in front of them and Pete “Glass Jaw” Goodwin managed to weave his way out of trouble into even bigger trouble, in the form of a stray forearm. Pete went down like a sack of spuds after seeing it come his way, even though replays have since shown no contact was actually made. The referee had no choice but to show a yellow card after calls from the sell out crowd swayed his decision. This extra man proved important to the Medics’ cause as the deceiving Goodwin managed to slice through once more, this time going over. The conversion was missed but Farmer soon swept away his cob webs and landed a penalty to leave Medics 8-0 up as the sin binning expired. Sheffield then found themselves deep in their own half but another turn over allowed a counter attack to be established which saw the skipper run the ball in for the Medics’ 2nd try (13-0). Despite the wind, the Medics seemed able to cope with York’s attack and it seemed only a Medics mistake would put an end to the clean sheet...the Medics went in to the break 13-7 to the good with many of the team desperate for the return of Pigott or Tris to the second row in place of an over-exuberant unnamed player going by the name of Al Fawdry. The 1st half also saw an end to Gabbott’s afternoon, not that anyone cared because a number of NYE invites to his place had got lost in the post.
The 2nd half began with the Medics looking to be a little smarter and more prolific with ball in hand if the win and bonus point were going to be acquired. The Bristol Medic Judas led the charge with this in mind, scoring a 50 metre charge down the left flank with defenders floundering in his wake. Some say he wasn’t thinking about the team’s best interests when he selfishly didn’t bother side stepping the final defender to make the conversion attempt easier, but this did nothing to detur the philosopher Eddie “Aristotle” Farmer from adding the extras. The Medics sensed the 4 try bonus point was theirs and the dynamic centre partnership of Jimmy Mac and Blackwell (which most agree should have been the starting 12 and 13 pairing) saw the latter go over close to the posts and Farmer made no mistake. The Medics began playing some good rugby, both in attack and defence, shutting up shop for the remainder of the match and managed a 5th try from Joe “not as good as last year’s social secs” McHale, leaving the final score at 36-7.
Thoughts are now very much upon next week’s game versus, Roundhegians, a top of the table clash where the Medics will be looking to close the gap at the top, so I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say this, let’s work hard in training this week nd only go to Space on Friday if you really need/want to.
Good work on the win
All my love, hugs and kisses
Lord David Ellis OBE