This Saturday saw Snowdown 1stXV make their way towards the capital to face Askeans rfc in their first league match of the season.
The colliery side went away well prepared and in plenty of time (picking up a couple of staggerlers on the way).
On arrival the players inspected the pitch and all agreed it was and though it too good to be true, and they were right it was plastic!! The players were a bit disgruntled, as having played on an artificial pitch before they knew that they do not take a stud well, and also the issue of having to explain all the carpet burns to the wives and girlfriends the next day!!!
The travelling Snowdown side started as if they were the home team - showing no signs of cobwebs having travelled over an hour in a minibus. With Harry Murley joining the backs line and scoring a well worked try.
But it wasn't long into the game when Richard "dick of the day" Blackburn had to be replaced due to a minor neck injury, by Mr Marvel himself Gavin Ritson who wasted no time at all making his presents felt in the front row.
Snowdowns back line was given a boost early in the first half with "Alun I'm only coming on if there's an injury Owen" coming on to replace outside center Kyle Currathas who purposely headbutted the foot of his opposite number just to get Alun on the pitch (minor graze to his eyebrow - later resulting in needing 8 stiches).
With the game flowing well and the Snowdown forwards holding their own in the set pieces plus dominating open play - it was only a matter of time before another score was on the board. Harry Murley again joining in with the backs to provide a mis-match in numbers and scoring in the corner with ease.
Steve Rottweiler Richards was obviously feeling the strain of keeping up with this well drilled youthful Snowdown side and decided he needed to have a 10 minute break, and the referee agreed. Producing a yellow for hands in a ruck.
Snowdown's new Australian fly half was having a performance worthy of a newky brown, barking out orders, organising the back line hitting tackles and rucks like an openside flanker and even scoring a try with some quick thinking, taking a tap and go from 20m out and scoring under the posts - what a find this lads seems to be, If only we everyone could get to grips with his name ?? Gerry Kerry Gary who knows?????
Half time came - words were spoken - refreshments were taken in - the spirit was good with Snowdown up 12 - 0.
BUT......... Yet again the sunshine corner team must have felt sorry for the opposing team as all structure and organisation from the first half went out of the window. Kerry Gerry Gary (the dutch fly half) saw red and was given a yellow. Snowdown were down to 14 again.
The opposition had really woken up and started asking questions of Snowdowns defence and not long after the Carrie the Fijian fly half had come back on, the ever present defensive machine Kyle Bennett was also given his 10 minute breather orders by the referee (to be fair to Kyle his yellow was a team yellow for perssitant breakdown offences). The referee's interpretation at the breakdowns were questionable leaving the team bemused?
The red and blue hoops were now staring at a possible defeat, inevitably with Snowdown playing much of the game with 14 men Askeans scored a couple of tries and converting one, bringing the score back to 12-17 in Snowdowns favour.
There was 20mins to go when the beast could take no more as the wise old head he was propping against wearing Callum to point of injury (his ribs were later severely bruised). The Captain Patrick Meathead Broadhurst took the decision to take Callum off so that he would be ok to fight another day - but by doing this, it did mean that Snowdown knowingly played the last 20mins with 14 men as they had already used their front row replacement. A risk the captain thought worth taking for the safety of one of his players!!!! A total of 50mins of rugby with a player down on the strong opposition side.
They opposition may have got the upper hand in the second half but in true Snowdown style the lads defence stood strong with some big hits all round the park.
The Man of the match was debutante Ben Hewer who shone throughout the match with solid handling at the back, smart heads up running and precise kicking.
Bonjour for now,