U13 away vs Stroud
Bredon Finally Cut the Tewkesbury Mustard
Disappointing defat at the hands of Stroud - beaten by a good side, well organised & hungry for the ball. Not a great start to the new year but an improvement on the last outing - hopefully the boys will learn from it and bounce back.
however there follows a report of sorts on the subsequent game away versus Tewkesbury on 13/01/2019.
Bredon Cut the Tewkesbury Mustard
The alarm interrupted the dream just as I was about to be offered the Lions coaching job by Sir Ian McGeechan as we quaffed a couple of ice-cold beers sitting in a jacuzzi in the Playboy Mansion surrounded by some very pleasant scenery. Disappointed again, I wearily climbed out of bed, said a quick prayer to the weather gods & peered through the curtains. Winter it seemed had further postponed her arrival (no doubt waiting until we travel to some distant, unsheltered location). Indeed, so temperate has the climate been, that our old friend Sergei is desperately seeking alternative uses for his myriad of Yak products. I understand, with the advent of Brexit, that he is experimenting with Yak cheese alternatives to European favourites like Parmesan & Mozzarella. Unfortunately, there has been an issue with viscosity – partially due to the above average temperatures & partly due to the difficulty in distinguishing female Yaks from the males (because of their long, impenetrable hair).
I hoped the advent of good weather could be a good omen for the showdown between Bredon & Tewkesbury Under 13’s.
My long-suffering wife was away overnight, so once partially awake I was compelled to hastily get myself ready, de-hungover and muster some breakfast for, & enthusiasm from, the children whilst trying to subdue the over-excited (temporarily 3-legged) hound. Mission partially accomplished we set off, without the dog, on the short trek to the Medieval town of Tewkesbury. Famous for a battle in 1471, mustard, Burger Star and flooding in 2007, I told the Monkey that he needed to make some history of his own & put in a big performance. Other parents were giving their offspring similar encouragement. I understand that “Eye of the Tiger” was played on at least one tape cassette en route, whilst Mr Mealing’s address to the players before kick-off has been described as Churchillian. Obviously, this would be a good thing if it referred to Winston the inspirational leader rather than the nodding dog off the adverts.
As is my custom I arrived fashionably early in order to secure a parking space. The majority of my fellow parents were already gathered in small clusters, nervously checking if the giant Tewkesbury Under 15 forward, who was sporting a full beard, had a younger brother playing in the U13’s. Parental nerves were so blatently jangling, it was like watching a steel band with the volume down.
Nor was I immune to the feeling that this game was make or break. After a torrid first half of the season Bredon were still seeking their first win. I was so distracted that I neglected to investigate the refreshments on offer. Nevertheless, I was disappointed that there was a distinct lack of baps on display.
The home side were a few players short and so an impromptu loan agreement was hatched allowing Sam, Harry, Sean, Benny & Henry to rotate between both teams, pitting their wits against their own team mates and be guaranteed of playing on the winning side.
A slightly experimental line up started the game with Jack Bulley moving to scrum half, Euan getting a rare outing at 10 & Morgan moving to inside centre. Benny swopped to start at full back with Henry moving to the wing. It was observed that the ball also appeared somewhat experimental. Although you could play with it, it was pink, disappointingly small & seemed to be of insufficient girth for anyone to get a confident grip on it. When I told my wife she just gave me one of those old- fashioned looks and made some comment about life’s disappointments.
Despite the changes, Bredon were uncharacteristically quickly into their stride, James and Josh powered through the home defence allowing Jack & Euan to move the ball into the open channels. The home side managed to stem the attacking tide temporarily before the Birthday Boy Ben Powell, burrowed over from close range for the opening score.
Any thoughts that this would be easy were quickly dispelled as Tewkesbury produced a fantastic try to respond almost immediately – Nemesis Boy was back – running in at least 3 of their 4 tries in the now familiar arcing run around the Bredon defence. A couple of Tewkesbury’s scores came from deep within their own territory and had it not been for some desperate scrambling defence – notably from Euan, the home side might have added to their tally.
First half tries from Ben P, James A, Alfie & Morgan preceded scores after the break from Denby, Ben A, Jimmy & Euan.
Ben Abracadabra’s pin-balling route to the line epitomised his abrasive approach. With Jimmy & James also scoring after strong runs and standing out as powerful ball carriers. For the most part Bredon’s scrum was dominant, with Harry again stealing ball against the head. the backs had a platform to work from. Some of the passing was very good. Morgan dummied through for his score before putting Alfie into the corner with a beautiful pass & all the boys tried to keep the ball alive with offloads out of contact. Josh was instrumental in creating space in midfield through his running lines and deft passing. Euan & Denby’s darts through for opportunist scores from the bases of rucks indicates that the boys are starting to develop their instincts & play what’s in front of them.
It was far from easy at the breakdown with Tewkesbury edging the rucks and mauls, a problem magnified by countless instances of poor defence.
Our own possession was often scrappy and the boys will be disappointed that some of the passing lacked accuracy. However, at times they did gel as a unit & when they strung two or three phases together we all realised the tremendous potential that exists within the group to become a strong team. The difference between the two sides was the cohesiveness that Bredon exhibited in attack, with the inside backs creating space for runners hitting a straight line in midfield or the wider channels. There was a fluidity to the game, making it entertaining to watch but disconcertingly reminding me of the Yak viscosity problem.
When the referee blew the final whistle, the parents let out a collective cheer of relief.
It was a fine team effort with some very good individual performances. No, it wasn’t perfect but what a joy to see the belief return to the players faces and what a credit to them that they have turned up week after week in adversity. They deserved this victory and should cherish it. There is much hard work to be done, but the incongruously nicknamed “Mountain Goats” have regained their footing and taken the first steps of the long climb towards the summit (or at least a comfy patch of dry grass).