Do we announce a teamsheet or do we announce a squad?! That was the predicament facing Head Coach George Morris and Captain Fantastic Antony Sumbler in the lead up to this week's game. We needed numbers, we needed the win, and we needn't have worried...What a game!
It's always nice to stick a few unanswered points on the board. Even better when it's against Shoots. During our final game of last season they had some fairly vocal supporters on the side who were throwing lots of hurty words in our direction...until we started winning and they decided to retire to the bar. They weren't there on this occasion.
Someone that WAS there was James Whitlock. About 15 minutes into the first half he'd had enough faffing about and decided it was time to get the ball rolling. A scrum was awarded to The Swans on Shoots' 5 Meter line, Guy Cooke was trying to camouflage his considerable bulk in the backs, the ball comes out, Guy lets rip, eventually being brought to a stop by four of the oppo (not before smashing one poor soul into next week). A ruck gets formed, Paul Stephenson steps up fancying a stab at the try-line and brings us even closer. He's brought down just short, another ruck, and then suddenly, with the sort of blistering pace you would expect from a seasoned sprinter James Whitlock cuts a ludicrous line and barrels over completely uncontested. Mihai Melnicov misses the conversion. 5-0
Not long afterwards and another scrum is awarded on Shoots' 5 meter line. It gets shipped out double quick to Paul Hately who decides to miss Mihai and throw the ball straight to GBH George Oliver; all that's left for him to do is perform the simple task of stepping four defenders and dance his way over the try-line (it's all in a day's work for George). Mihai sends the ball home. 12-0
With a few minutes left of the first half, and following a nice little passage of play which saw The Swans displaying some beautiful handling skills, Paul Foster NEARLY wrestles his way over the line but is brought just short, Guy Cook finds himself waiting patiently just off the newly formed ruck, it gets popped over to him, and he bundles his way over the line with three men unable to stop him! The wind gets the better of Mihai and he misses by just a couple of feet. 17-0
Second half, and things seemed to be slowing down for The Swans. 10 minutes in and a scrum on the halfway line is won by Shoots but gets squandered by poor handling from their backs, giving The Swans an opportunity to get things going again. A fumbled ball gets capitalised upon by Mihai, who kicks it through and then it's a foot race between him and GBH George to get their hands on it as it rolls over the try-line. George gets there by a fraction of a second. Mihai slots the conversion. 24-0
About this time Shooters Hill woke up and scored a converted try. I don't know how, I can't see the video. But let's be honest, who cares? If you really want to know go and read their match report! 24-7
Someone that isn't particularly well versed at standing by and watching everyone else have all the fun is Phil Butler. He decides he wants a piece of the action. Following yet another barnstorming run from Guy the ball gets shipped left, fumbled, picked up and offloaded beautifully by GHB George, Phil decides to catch this ball having found himself dropping nearly every other ball so far (a rarity it must be said). Phil steps his opposite number, then cuts back in, beating three more backs in the process. Mihai's kick gets blown wide. 29-7
Five minutes later, seeing space behind Shoots' defence, Paul Hately chips the ball over and it gets scooped up by their Full-Back. Phil Butler is on top of him in no time, nearly dragging him in touch, the ball gets spilled, leaving George Oliver to give it one final nudge and chase it over the line. Hat-trick hero GBH George strikes again! Mihai misses the conversion. 34-5
Not long after The Swans are awarded yet another scrum close to Shoots' try-line, they were really having a hard time not getting pinged for various infractions in this area of the pitch. Guy picked it up from the back, having found his way back to his usual position in the forwards at No.8 He manages to get over the line, but the ball gets spilt, and Paul "Fozzie" Foster is there to mop things up and get the try...now, some might say he stole it, others will say he was simply in the right place at the right time, and he will almost certainly tell you he read the play perfectly and knew exactly where to stand! Ali Hulls stepped up to take the conversion sending the ball home! 41-5
With a couple of minutes left of the game Jumping Jack Nash finds himself the recipient of the ball, he manages to break the line much to the excitement of Stuart Tate on the sides, after a couple more phases of play the ball once again finds its way over to Phil Butler who does his usual thing of dusting multiple opposing players and sticking the ball down one last time this game. Conversion missed. Final Score 46-7
Man of the Match - Simon Rushworth
Dick of the Day - Phil Butler-fingers
Rambo - GBH George Oliver
A massive well done to all that turned up, regardless of whether there was a teamsheet or not! It's understandable numbers will drop this close to Christmas, but everybody made the effort and everything was fine on the day.
Once again thanks to all of those that managed to come along and support. Your support this year has been exemplary.
Last but not least, thanks to Dave John Lawrence for being a selfless clubman. We are truly blessed to have such a considerate committee member in our midst. We don't know where we would be each week without his beautifully articulated and spell-blindingly poetic match reports. Also we promise to like and share all of his Facebook posts in the future before he leaves us for a national side.