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Billingham Ex Colts - Match centre

Billingham Rugby Club
Percy Park Academy
Sat 13 Jan 12:30 - League Full time

Colts 71 Percy Park Academy 15

A week is a long time in sport!

Billingham Colts 2017 -18 13/01/2018 Percy Park at Billingham

Report by Mr Munns

What difference a day makes – Dinah Washington 1959.

Ah, back to a normal routine after the festive and New Year period, it all starts to fall into a cycle or pattern. The traffic has also got back to normal during the week so the run of games at the greenwood road complex has meant a relaxing meander down to the club mid-afternoon. So imagine the shock of news of a Colts warm up at 11:15 with a high noon kick off, well just after kick off. The chores that had to be fitted in were moved forward so an early rise, judging by our house players need more rest before a pivotal game, apparently.
So last week saw a lukewarm (not you mate) performance that lacked several factors – structure, communication and team work so messages regarding the need for training were despatched over social media, word of mouth and carrier Pidgeon. Unfortunately the squad had various different calls on their time with work and A ‘level mocks but those who trained got the benefit. I use the word benefit because it’s to benefit the squad and personal development that you train, I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t want to. Every one trains on something, I have a personal trainer who regularly feeds me with words to include within these reports, although some suggestions are ridiculous I try and stretch to my limits to include them thus expanding them as I go. And you think it’s just thrown together.
So an early start sees a bit of a con-flab in the car park before pre-noon coffee is taken in the bar, just in time to see Budgie on the balcony in scoreboard mode. He’s a quick learner as last week’s anagrams are a thing of the past as the time, teams and 0-0 flash up in double quick time. No Chris “legend” H this week so Sean, looking stern gets the warm up under way. I’m still catching up with friends with happy New Year’s which at this rate will last till May, as a good crowd circles the AGP. It’s quite a featureless day but a cruel northern wind means that a couple of layers and hat are employed. So coaches in place, the players run out, Isaac (hope he’s as good as his dad) has flag in hand, ref has warmed up so its looks like we are off. Billingham switch dugouts for some reason to do with superstition which I don’t believe in but I turn to my lucky pen to record the action.
Percy Park in black with white hoop kick off from the club house end towards Harry’s hill and Lewis W receives, we move onto the first ruck and Percy Park steal an early ball. Early exchanges take place in the Billingham half with Billingham slow to start leaving kicks over the top to bounce and being caught in possession. The odd knock on from each team indicates an even match up. Billingham look to break out with a quick ball and a long pass form Alfie is judged forward as Jo looks to blast into space. From the scrum Percy Park retain the ball and a penalty is given which they opt to kick for a 0 – 3 opening score, another team who take penalties to get the board moving early.
Billingham kick off and move into the Percy Park half for the first time, good pressure forces Percy park to use a clearing kick but chasers are on front of the ball and its brought back. Jo kicks for touch and places it nicely just inside the 22 for the line out. Murph rises to take a ball to set up the drive which makes good ground, the first push is by Ryan who is stopped short but next drive falls to Lewis W to break the whitewash. Fez stroked the ball over for 7 – 3. Nerves are settled, sort of.
Percy Park kick off with a high spiral kick that is not taken cleanly to set them up with a scrum and to impound it Billingham are penalised at the scrum so the kick for touch sees Percy Park deep int the Billingham half. They take the line out move the ball out along the line then back quickly and in at the corner for a quick response plus a sweet conversion for 7 – 10.
The kick off sees Billingham look to chase hard but Percy Park gather well only to collide into fellow player which the ref takes as an obstruction. A good Billingham scrum and Sam whips the ball out quite high, but Alfie takes like a leaping salmon and he’s off like the clappers to evade two tackles. Fez steps up again to slot home for 14 -10 as the scores swing from side to side. Billingham need to be confident under the kick off and the next one sees a better outcome with a good catch setting up an instant counter. Billingham look to switch the ball along the line as the forwards gain momentum and the backs start to force gaps. A penalty is awarded and Jo steps up to kick for touch but taps to quickly release Alfie, who bags the try with players overlapping. Fez sends the ball across the face of the posts so 19 -10. In the excitement I can report that our young line judge displays none of his Dad’s deft awareness as he collides with a touch flag in the run up to the try.
Another kick off is secured with the forwards now relishing their chances to charge up the pitch with Ben H, Lewis W and Ryan carrying the ball plus various players with them. The backs are also clicking with combinations looking to swap passes and make the break. Percy Park peg Billingham back to their line and a break out move sees a long pass go into touch. Billingham look to work hard and soon are working up the pitch and a neat break by Oscar sets up Jo on a cracking run to evade all defence. Fez troubles the car park with a cracker for 26 -10.
The kick off routine is replicated with another Lewis W catch and the forwards work the ball, Percy Park are caught offside but the kick does not see touch which give Percy Park the change to attack. Billingham defend well and Coops picks up the ball turning on pivot (strictly next year??) to totally befuddle the would-be tackler and heads off down the line. The attack continues as a bit of afters takes place behind the play which Harry L tries to calm down. As the dust settles changes are made to calm the situation and Billingham get the penalty, line out taken well and they attack down the far side. Alfie is through a gap and the pass is knocked on, the ref adjudges deliberately so a yellow is shown. Tap pen passed on to Lewis W who spins to evade tackles to set up good position, Ben H moves it on the Sam W pops up to nab the try, its unconverted for 31-10.
Just time for another catch from Lewis W and a strong run from Oscar to wrap up the half as the whistle sounds and the huddle forms for changes and instruction. Changes are slight but the Harry count is back up, the subs look resigned to a great team performance limiting their time but still wanting to play their part. A lot packed into a half. A veritable cornucopia of rugby action and 3 steps up from last week’s overall performance, but could it be sustained. Plus to Jeff continue to keep his balls located and under control????
I will condense the second half, sorry if this lets anyone down but I will stick in a few highlights. Billingham playing from the club house uphill set up a format, good catch, the forwards secure and move the ball then the backs play it out. The first try wasn’t instant, Percy Park were still working hard just Billingham moved over the gain line and employed the whole team to move the ball quickly. It was aided by some knock-ons and the scrum was back to its solid format providing a good platform. So a clearing kick from Percy park went directly out, which was caught by Rueben Blades (steady) beyond the touch line gave the line out from which Billingham drove then a break from Sam gave room for Alfie to feed the line finished off by Coops, Fez rifled over the sticks for 38 -10.
Percy Park looked to work back into the game and the next period of play the moved the ball and cycled through the phases making ground but the Billingham tackles stuck, something that was missing last week. Harry Be on in the second half putting in the usual shift around the ruck saw Billingham get the ball, Alfie on the break fed the other Harry B, who put on a neat juggling display for the crowd before controlling and taking in for the try, unconverted for 43 – 10.
Lewis W catch, set-up, ball moved along the line the usual runners and support from Coops, Fez conversion 50 -10. Lewis W catch, forwards drive, a bit of a wayward long pass, team work to move up the pitch, a weaving Murp goes close, Alfie finishes, Fez converts 57-10. Come on Fella’s how fast do you think I can write these notes. Percy Park kick off and turn it over, Billingham counter and Ben H supports with a cracking carry up the middle. Again squad play move the ball up and Murp gets a deserved try, unconverted 64-10.
Percy Park send a up a high one and Billingham knock on under pressure, Billingham steal the ball and a lively Finlay Murray stretches his legs. Just when another gap looks open a forwards pass halts the attack. The scrum sees Percy park control and attack down the far side for a well taken try, as off the ball handbags taken place halfway. 64 – 15.
Billingham kick off which Percy Park collect and move, the line kick goes straight out so they are taken back, Murp takes off the top but it’s knocked on. Billingham pressure the scrum and try to keep Percy Park in their own half. Loose passing from Percy Park sees another chance for Billingham as Harry Be gets half a chance but recycled goes to Alfie for the final score. Ref indicates last kick and Storm pings it over for 71 – 15.
So enough action for at least 3 matches in one, the teams do the usual cheers and tunnels as the supporters drift up to the bar. The 2nd and 3rd teams jog into action for further games to be enjoyed with Sean, Oscar and Storm pitching up for the 3rd team as player numbers are debated. Nice to see so many of the players staying on and great to chat after the game plus watch another 2 games.
Quite few players named in the match report but the whole squad stood up and got stuck in. Although Murp gets a few mentions there was the timing of the throws and the players who lifted that enable him to dominate the line outs, it’s a team thing. The movement of the ball, support runners and the forwards play through-out the match was at the right level, there were several players who moved up a gear. This was a re-action to the week before, it needed to happen and you should enjoy the wins as you should take on board the losses. This is the level at which you need to play, this is the minimum level at which you need to turn up and play, controlled structured rugby. Every team will want to take points from this squad, they will be turning up ready and we need to do the same. Let’s take what we did well and do it again, take what we didn’t and move it on. The best teams are consistent in their approach and always look to develop further, that is a goal that should be set by this squad and individually.
So no time this week for boy racers in the car park, Frank Ifield, you never lose what you never had, Collins dictionary, fluorescent camouflage, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, some people lie about their age, Do you remember S Featherstone???, squad rotation theory, How many Harrys on the pitch at one time? and Alfie, did I win the raffle??????.

We need the whole squad, every player of the team if we are to be successful – Pep Guardiola.

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