u13's Broughton Park/didsbury Toc H 30 Trafford MV 35
By Greg Hawkins
Half term and yet rugby goes on
Despite the impact of half term, school trips, injuries and sickness we decided to take our troop of 11 non-skiers to leafy Didsbury for a game against our old adversaries of Broughton Park who have teamed up with Toc H to make sure a group of boys still get the opportunity to play.
The TMV coaches stuck to our preference of keeping the boys together and play 11 v 11 dropping the No. 8 and full back.
We were lucky that we were able to field boys in their preferred positions on the whole but with no subs it was always going to be a touch day and the teams decided on a game of 3 x 15 minutes.
In the first 15 TMV definitely had the balance of the game. We finished the section only 1 try up scored by the ever impressive Dan Clarke after some really positive passing and interplay. BP have possibly the fastest winger in Cheshire – a true sprinter – and Dewi Mowe had a superb first 15 putting this rocket in some really difficult defensive situations with really incisive running and lines of attack – we were just a bit too slow to support Dewi and give him the option to an open line – otherwise we would have been 4 or 5 tries to the good.
The other impressive sight in the first 15 was the 4 or 5 superb defensive sets we put in on our own line to stop BP crossing – the forward pack of Ollie, Smidge, Stan, Jackson and Dan put in one of our best forward performances of the season. We need to work a bit more on our scrummaging but our tackling and rucking were much improved – a real plus for the efforts of the boys, Stu’s recent focus on rucking at training and Matt Spark’s motivational talks. More of this later…..
In the second ‘third’ the natural ability and passing work we have been working on for a year really started to show. We conceded an early try from the BP flying machine with a superb run and a brief dip from MV into touch rugby but then we refocussed and had a superb 10-12 minutes of attacking flair.
There was some superb use of the blind side, interpassing as well as the forwards continuing to set the pace leading to tries for Dewi, Joe Buckley (2) and Jack Spark (2). Fenton created havoc with a superb display of running and defence – he just needs to run a bit straighter and mix his game up to use the backs outside him but his bravery and commitment are second to none. And, although he is my son, it would be unfair not to mention the contribution of Paddy Howarth in terms of creating space through his running and passing.
We entered the final session 6 tries to one in the lead and should have been further ahead but playing some great rugby. In the final session, the boys and the referee clearly started to tire and with less than a minute to go BP drew level with a controversial score with a tap taken about 6 inches from the line rather than 5m back.
The lads looked dejected, sensed injustice and down. This roller coaster season was to deliver another blow after 30 minutes of brilliant rugby. But we had the confidence to kick off and with seconds to go with super runs from Ollie, Dan, Fenton and others, man of the match Jackson Highley cleared a ruck 5 metres from the BP line. Paddy split blind, Smidge ran a great dummy line to attract the defence and Paddy released the miss pass to Stan, who had a sterling performance, dived over for his first try in many a day – and a match winning to boot.
A great day and result with great hosts and some very tired boys who had given it all!