Following some disappointing performances in previous weeks against WPL and Yarnbury, and an incomplete performance the week before against Baildon, Dem Shef Meds knew they needed to turn up for this top of the table clash. Things looked positive from the beginning, with yours truly actually being at the meet early and ‘1st XV captain’ Ben Gabbott not stinking of alcohol from Space the night before.
Arriving at Shaw Lane, the boys were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the stadium, a far fling from Fortress Norton, and were even more impressed by music being played during the warm up (some of that new music played indoors). The rain during the week served to soften up the surface, but otherwise it was a delightful track.
Wise words by the Green Bean and a slick warm up brought us up to kick off, with the lads obviously pumped up. Dem Shef Meds flew out of the blocks, with concerted early pressure leading to two penalties from the boot of Hodgy. Some convenient short sightedness from the otherwise excellent ref denied Dobree a try from a kick and chase. Shmeds stuck to their game plan and persistent bombs combined with huge hits from the centres Flinto and Yay meant the Barnsley fullback will have had better days at the office. This pressure was eventually turned into points with Flinto finding the excellent number 8 Geordie Fawdy, before he skilfully put his little princess Piggle under the sticks. Conversion by Hodgy. What followed was an intense period of Barnsley attacks. Tireless tackling by all of Dem Shef Meds was able to keep out the Barnsley boys for a while, but eventually they succeeded in getting over the whitewash. This brought the capacity crowd to life (a factor which had been a concern for Dem Shef Meds). This was short lived as Shmeds hit straight back before the break with an incisive break through the centres from the resurgent Yay ‘uhhohhohhoh’ Mac. The crowd was silenced, prompting chants from No.1 supporter Poppa Fawds “We’ll sing on our own, We’ll sing on our oooowwwwwnnnn!”
Knowing the first score in the second half would be vital Dem Shef Meds took up where they left off. Some perfectly weighted kicks from ‘the 2nd best Conville’ FTR put the boys in the right areas of the park. The on field skipper FTR led from the front, making breaks and ending lives. Barnsley continued to try and make yards in tight with their big lads, but the smaller, less powerful team was easily up to the task, with bodies flying into tackles all over the shop. Beechy showed the boys how it’s done by diving at ankles again and again. This intensity led to a number of injuries from both sides, with the play often being stopped to find a number of injured players strewn out across the field. After resisting this pressure, Dem Shef Meds got the scoreboard ticking again from the boot of Hodgy. Dem Shef Meds went on about their jobs in defence and attack, with the entire squad having a stormer. A try for Hodgy with 10 to go gave Shmeds a sniff of the BP, and with ruthlessness the All Blacks would be proud of they struck again at the death to grab the BP win with High tops somehow managing to catch a ball and then running unopposed into the corner. With the final whistle came elated celebrations after Dem Shef Meds putting in arguably their best performance under the tutelage of Green Bean. FTR was so taken up in the atmosphere he forgot who we were playing in the tunnel.
Man of the Match was shared by on field skipper FTR and Chicken legs Dobree. Sack went to Beechy for taking names and ending lives.
Dem Shef Meds will hope to take this performance into an important part of the season, with games against Bradford Salem, Hullensians and Leos coming soon.
A result of this magnitude cannot help but pose the question:
How about dem Shef Meds?