By Keith Sexton
Llandaf North and Hailey Park must have seemed surreal with the mass exodus of the U9’s, U10’s and U11’s to Devon Cliffs, Exmouth for this year’s tour. I was surprised at the U11’s organisational skills, within minutes of arriving at the site they were golfing, swimming and exploring the local amenities, on a Sunday morning organisation at this level would be impossible.
‘Training on the beach at 12’ was the last call Friday night but after a series of mini hurricanes throughout the night a window of ‘drier’ weather was predicted at 10am (this change of time caught a few out). Training went well and the team adapted to the new rules of basically ‘everything goes’ although a number of the gazelles within the team moaned how tiring it was to run on the soft sand. It was also great Chelsea back training with the boys.
Tom ‘Marmite’ Laugharne had kindly agreed to take a number of the team to Withycombe RFC to watch a touring team but in true Tom style they arrived to watch the Man of the Match presentation – apparently they game had been brought forward but it was good opportunity for the boys to meet a number of the opposition ahead of the game.
Bev arrived late at the club cursing the Sat Nav but the excuses fell on deaf ears and Bev picked up the first and only fine of the tour, we are all looking forward to the cakes! Chelsea had been made Captain as a team thank you for all her efforts in the previous years. Straight from the kick off, the team relished in their new found freedom but suddenly they were faced with their first true test, a competitive scrum. Withycombe pushed on the strike but the North recoiled and pushed Withies off the ball, this was the start of the forward dominance at the set piece and at the ruck. This quick ball resulted in a Try for Dylan, converted by Alex. The forwards were really working hard to compete at the breakdown and another darting run by Alex resulted in another Try converted by Sion. Withycombe applied sustained pressure in the North’s half but a lost ball was pounced on by the back row and passed to Dylan who drove through the Withies back line before passing to Sam to score, this was converted by Nye.
Straight from the kick off, pressure on the ball carrier from Ioan, Chelsea and Sion was too much for the withies wing, the ball was lost and Sion pick up a loose ball and dived over for our 4th Try, converted by Big Ted aka Sion. The next 10 minutes were spent basically in 10 metres either side of the half way with both teams cancelling each other out across the pitch but a loose ball was snatched by Sam who ran in to score a try to break the deadlock, this was converted by Alex. Withycombe battled back and a try saving tackle by Joe halted their attack, but not to be denied, the Withies pack competed at the line out and ran in their first Try and this was successfully converted. Following the wake up call, the North were back on the attack, Sam set off on one of his sweeping runs, when he was up to full speed, Sam stepped inside the centre and touchdown for a Try which was converted by Alex.
The North continued their assault on the Withies line, several scores by Sam and then a fantastic team effort; it seemed the entire team had played a role in this Try which started with a direct run by Josh and was completed by Joe touching down in the corner. Withies looked tired as Dylan finished of his Man of the Match performance with another Try and not to be left out Chelsea in possibly her last game in black and yellow ran in a well-deserved score. In the last play of the game the ‘Gruffalo’ demonstrated a great ‘show and go’ to wrap up a dominant performance.
A lot of the text above lists the tries scored by the backs but a comment for all the forwards – without their efforts at the breakdown this would win would not have been possible!
Final Score 80 – 7
Man of the Match – Dylan ‘Hunter’ Nunn
Match Statistics (provided by Jeff)
|Llandaf North RFC||WithyCombe RFC|