By Tom Jameson U12 manager
“THE GREY WOLVES OF U-12”
And they thought we’d gone! They thought we’d been sunk without trace! But no. For our boys this under 12 adventure is proving a daunting challenge. Despite sinking Llandaff and Llantwit to win the district tournament plate final we then received our new orders, a Blues Cup first round visit by the ‘Spear Throwers’ of Pentyrch.
Unprepared, these latest orders suddenly felt like we’d been asked to navigate our Black and Amber sub, U-12 through the wartime straits of Gibraltar with all our Cardiff and Vale enemies up above on the surface waiting to sink us. And how we fluffed our lines, Pentyrch dropping depth charges a plenty and down we went and out of the Blues Cup. Tables turned. Last years under 11 hunters, now the hunted!
Such an exit sent us plummeting fast and 47 to nil was enough to send celebrations on the surface. All the teams we’d terrorised last term like Llandaff, St. Joe’s and others could celebrate our passing; consigned permenantly to the depths of the under 12 unofficial Merit Table….But Oh no, not yet!
Hard talking and stern words led to our 22 strong crew training harder still to repair the damage. Plugged holes and an engine room that could welcome the return of Morgan, Archie, and Nojan allowed us to surface at Dinas Powys on a sunny Remembrance Day. And what a show of strength, what a response to their sinking at the hands of Pentyrch. To a man the forwards played as if their very lives depended on it. Dinas Powys scored a lucky try from a dropped ball behind the line but back we came; phase after phase of forward driving; hard yards earned. Archie Baxter went blindside to score but our conversion fell short. It meant we trailed by two points. Again we pressed throughout the second half, our backs, so nervous against the ‘Spear Throwers’ now freed by the forward platform given to them. Dinas had only 1 answer to hold us back, when they re-claimed ball they gave it to the enormous boot of their Inside Centre. Never before have we so dominated a game and come up short, on this occasion by just 2. In a scoreless second period the Dinas coach and his band of parents admitted they were ‘hanging on’; hanging on by the bootstraps of their kicking Centre.
Alas defeat, but a morale victory that owed everything to the character of the boys. The pack were immense, winning nearly all the breakdown and all the set piece scrums; pack leader and Hooker for the day, Dylan Bignall taking man of the match with a typically ‘007’ style performance. To a man they were magnificent, these were ‘Iron Cross’ performances by the entire crew of beleagured U-12 of Llandaff North.
To all our foes up on the surface who thought we’d been sunk without trace and gone away for good, think again.
Lurking in the deep, near the foot of the under 12 Merit Table maybe, but still a menace to the ‘great and the good’ of the Cardiff and Vale, and looking again for a convoy to sink!
Dinas Powys U12’s, 7 – 5, Llandaff North U12’s
Man of the Match: D.Bignall
Manager’s Player of the Day: J.Lubienski