U9s Battle Of The Borough At Leigh
By Jonny Fairclough
The pie-lobbies derby: everyone’s a WNer
On a bright, if deceptively chilly Sunday morning, the U9s met at Leigh RUFC for games against hosts Leigh - who fielded two teams, and fellow visitors Orrell. And as expected, both opponents fielded strong teams – and all games were very evenly matched.
In ‘Team Beale-James’ Harry H, Jonah and Wilson tackled and ran well as per usual, whilst Finlay and Lukus popped up all over the pitch, assisting with tackles and also proving very difficult to catch with the ball in hand.
Sam and Alex worked tirelessly with both their distribution and support play throughout all three matches, whilst Benito made some elusive runs, and was always there to help out in both defence and attack.
Kian, unfortunately, took to the pitch full of enthusiasm but left it full of lurgy - partway through the first game.
All players contributed well to three very good team performances.
On ‘Team Astleyclough’ Toby stood out and looked like a boy possessed - especially against Orrell (a team which was made up of his school mates and former teammates). Clearly Grandad Martin had fed him raw meat for breakfast.
Sonny was Sonny, and scored pretty much each time he touched the ball - until Bob reined him in and put him into a more distribution-focused role, after which he passed well and brought others into the game.
Henry demonstrated impressive technique as ever with his tackling - saving a couple of seemingly nailed-on tries, and Harry B contributed well throughout with some very strong tackles of his own, some close support, and direct runs.
Archie was always enthusiastic for the ball, and overcame a brief spell of illness (too much pizza the night before – according to Archie) to score an impressive try, and George was busy and elusive each time he got the ball, scoring some good tries and setting up several others.
Oliver made a couple of strong runs and hard tackles (especially on his friends on the opposing teams), whilst Tom and Jack both had very good games: Jack with his support play and running, and Tom in his tackling – which saw him bring down much larger boys on several occasions.
Originally, matches were also planned against Ormskirk, but their coach requested an earlier than planned halt to proceedings. It was a decision that was ‘warmly’ welcomed by the parents – some of whom had overestimated the strength of the sun in WN7, and had seriously underdressed as a result.
Overall, it was a thoroughly competitive morning of rugby that was enjoyed by everyone, but in particular Paul H and Warren B who both looked teary eyed and nostalgic upon returning to their native land.
The much anticipated return fixture is in April.