Opening St Julie and game vs. the Locks

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Hello Green,

An excellent day all around yesterday.

For once the phrase “there are too many people to thank them all” is true.

A great turnout at 9am to start getting our great clubhouse and grounds ready for what we all hope will be an enjoyable and successful 2010 season.

Whether it was clearing up the laneway, dredging the stream, removing the old rotten staircase and building a flowerbed in it’s place, seeding/feeding the 1st grade pitch or any of the other many important jobs that got done, another old adage comes to mind. “Many hands make light work”.

Once we had these tasks under control it was time to think about that days playing activity… so on a quick inspection of the 2nd field it was surmised that there were 2 major obstacles to getting the game underway, many puddles of standing water and Lines.

With the willing assistance of the ladies section “chief engineer” Huw Roberts set out to get the field marked out. El Presidente Marky G discovered a hitherto unknown aptitude for pushing the line marking machine and an hour later we were the proud owners of an interestingly proportioned field.

The water situation was one that was attacked with gusto and several different methods of dispersal, eventually the sight of 3 senior members of the club sweeping/squeeging water to the sidelines whilst the rookies kicked a ball around caused some to utter the words, ” what the F@&% are Rookies for ?”, upon which the rest of the water was cleared by hardworking and enthusiastic newcomers to our fine club.

So there we were, sun peeking out from behind the darkening clouds, warming up and seemingly all obstacles to our game behind us. Unfortunately our visitors had forgotten to inform the ref for the day that she was required and therefore we had NO ref !!

I was going to have to ref when James Acker,(who was just there to help out and spectate), graciously offered to officiate.
So resplendent in the latest in IRB approved wellies,(botte de pluie), and windbreaker Jacket James got the game underway.

Both teams had agreed that they would start with all of their rookies and a few more experienced guys to steer the ship for the first 40, with the greasy conditions and lack of experience this was obviously going to lead to some difficulties with handling, but with some astute refereeing, a surprisingly entertaining first 20 minutes came to a close with the teams deadlocked at 0-0.

A quick 5 minute chat and the game was underway again with both teams throwing themselves into the fray with increased vigour, solid rucking and some crunching tackles saw the Irish start to take the upper hand; on several occasions we were only meters away from getting that crucial opening score.
Dave O’Neil in his first game for 10 yrs was unfortunate to have a clash of heads that resulted in a broken nose,(I know we will all be happy to know that he is fine and rearing to get back into the action asap), and the end of his involvement for the afternoon. Half time 0-0.

The second half was always going to be a difficult affair with 3 hookers making up the front row against one of the strongest 2nd division front rows.

However all 15 battled manfully and if the player coach hadn’t thrown an awful miss 3 pass when we had a 4 on 2 overlap the Irish would no doubt have won the game. Thanks should also be given to the Locks for reversing their decision to go for goal with 2 minutes to play after some good natured banter.

All in all a great day for all and a justifiable full time score of 0-0, not a spectators dream but a lot was gained by all that participated.

I personally would like to thank the following people for their efforts relating to the Game: James Acker,(for Reffing at such short notice and thus allowing me to coach). Huw Roberts,James Murray and Andy Plimer,(for watching and coaching different units and supplying feedback),Everyone that helped line/clear water so that we even ad a pitch to play on, Claire for being there as AT, Gary McDougall for playing 80 minutes out of position in the first game of the season to rightfully be voted Man of the Match. The Irish supporters who not only turned out in great numbers but were as usual, vocal yet humerous and well behaved.

2 other people to be mentioned, Rookie of the Day: Hugo (backs) and Aurelien,(forwards).