What a week it had been for the selectors. An extraordinary drop in players, due to injury and unavailability, meant that where last week we had put out three good sides, this week, we struggled to put out two. A few frantic phone calls later and we left for Heathfield with 16 players, one of which, Ash, had never played ever before - Thank you Dave Bridges for talking him into coming!!
With only five players remaining from the team who had played so well last week, I was very unsure what to expect, especially in the first proper rain of the season. Heathfield are always a competitive outfit and after a big win last weekend were going to be confident and come at us like a train. This proved to be the case, but it was G’s who applied all the early pressure but the slippery ball proved to be our undoing time and again. The quality dipped and the only memorable moment, was a bad one for us, as the Greenies scored wide on the right to end the half 5 - 0 up.
The half time team talk was bolstered by Bapo, who had answered my desperate call and escaped from nappy changing dutys, turning up and slotting into the full back berth. He will claim it was all his influence (Ash also has a case, as he slotted onto the right wing, to begin his first ever half of what I hope is a long rugby career), but we were a different side. Liam made a wonderful break, supported by Oli and Ash, huge ground was taken and it was left to Crazy to smash over to finish a fine move and bring the scores level.
Az (Kiwi magic) had overcome a nasty sounding injury where he couldn’t feel or move his foot!! I suggested it might be that his strapping was too tight, cutting off circulation, and panic over, he started snipping round the base with more and more panache (Always easier with two feet bro). Bert was making huge carries, sitting the oppo down in thier droves. Crazy was becoming more and more of a handful from 8 as he started to find a bit of space. Wave after wave crashed upon the Heathfield shore, until a delightful dummy, step and offload from Az, saw Bapo cross to take the lead. His usefulness was not yet finished however, as Dodge in despair, called tearfully that he had lost a contact lens and could only see out of one eye! Bapo strode over to his beleaguered colleague, and amazingly, found it on the floor! This rejuvenated Dodge to such an extent that, he snatched up the ball, broke the defence and motored up the pitch like a Lambo! It was left to Crazy to finish things off again, running to the left and outpacing the cover.
G’s, now in complete control, seemed to have scored two more as first Robo and then the excellent Ash crashed over. The referee was unsighted on both occasions however, and it was a relief when Crazy completed his hat trick from close range to make the game safe. There was time for Heathfield to score a lovely and well deserved conciliation to finish with the scoreboard showing 10 - 20, and for our winning run to remain intact.
There were some great performances across the park from Bert, Liam, Az and Bapo in particular. Also, massive thanks to Jermaine and Ash for playing, and saving our bacon. Huge respect to all the third team boys who really stepped up and played some great rugger - thank you all so much, but my MoM goes to the oldest man on the pitch, Crazy, who scored a fantastic hat trick and made me smile a lot!
There is no way round the fact the DotD this week goes to Pete. This dependable and ever steady, rock of a man, forgot (temporarily I hope) how to catch! Can he borrow your contacts for next week Dodge?