Dursley Rugby Football Club
Registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club CASC since 2004
Superb End to a Super Season
21st April 2015
Dursley travelled to visit Bristol Saracens RFC in their final match of 15 man rugby this season and, put their disappointment at last week’s plate final defeat behind them, to run out 27-29 winners in a thrilling game against Bristol Saracens. Messages of support for the boys had come in from all sources following last week’s unfortunate defeat. German Head of Rugby, Hans Zatdudeeshes as well as international coaches Francis Follofrogs and Scott Eeshmaltwisky all sent heartfelt congratulations to the Dursley boys for the way they accepted defeat in such difficult circumstances. Meanwhile, Dursley’s former Korean kit man, Hu Fru Sox, passed on his best wishes from Seoul where he is currently being interviewed for the vacant ‘Thong Manager’ role with the ladyboys of Bangkok touring troupe.
So a depleted squad of only 14 players travelled south to the Cribbs Causeway megadome to face Saracens. The numbers reduced by a combination of injuries including Tom K (bad haircut) and Tom H (ant bite), as well as bad timing as a number of the boys who were at Filton college trials. Harvey, Sam Cotton, Ollie G, Doop and Jack S all absent as they sought to secure place in the Filton squad ahead of the coming season. Saracens helpfully lent Dursley 3 players during the course of the game to keep the contest even and grateful thanks to Adam, Tyrese and Dylan who fulfilled this role with energy and enthusiasm, not to mention some good quality play.
Our referee, sporting the latest from the M&S ‘colour dyslexics’ range, called the captains together and Dursley got the game underway. Saracens had the early pressure and took the lead with a neat try, but Dursley responded swiftly and a good move allowed Jack ‘Fred Astaire’ Bartrop to grab the ball in a Ginger Rogers style hold before quickstepping expertly over the line to equalise, 5-5. Dursley were soon back on the defence and an energetic Saracens forward line retook the lead 10-5. But in an end-to-end game the play shifted to the Saracens half and some great anticipation from Charlie saw him intercept and canter through under the posts for a neat try. The Momberator added the conversion and Dursley had the lead for the first time, 10-12. The pendulum swung once more as Saracens opened up to full throttle and regained the lead with a strong forwards try in the corner, 17-12. Dursley finished the half strongly though and it was no surprise when Charlie fed Ollie ‘Severn’ Bridges who scampered in the corner to end the half all square, 17-17.
The second half was more of the same as Dursley opened the scoring when Jack T finished a neat move and put the visitors 17-22 to the good. But in the following minutes, and in line with the pattern of play, a series of Saracens breaks saw them score another unconverted try to bring the game square at 22-22. It seemed the substitutes were beginning to tell for the home side as the now weary Dursley boys were on defence and it was no surprise to see the home side retake the lead 27-22 with a nice try in the corner. To make matters worse Andy had to be withdrawn for precautionary reasons when he banged his solid mahogany head during a ruck. Happily, early indications are that a brief trip to the French polisher should put him right. We all know this Dursley team has spirit and that was now being sorely tested as the faithful crossed their fingers and hoped it would come to the fore. The boys were exhausted and yet still found the strength and determination for one last attack. It was fitting that the last man on the end of a flowing move was Jordan and his pre-match burger fuelled strength, grit and determination saw him finish over the line. Adam C took on the kicking duty in difficult conditions, where most kicks had been missed, and curled a tidy left footer over the bar for a 27-29 victory.
This was a fabulous entertaining game played in a sporting and friendly atmosphere. Great credit to our hosts who took this tight defeat on the chin too. This was one of those happy days where the wonderful camaraderie between both sides was all too evident and rugby was very much the winner. Coach Lloyd was clearly delighted with the performance during his post-match rehydration routine and rightly so. He and his team can justifiably reflect on a long hard season with pride. A season that has seen the boys perform with honesty, effort and ever increasing skills week on week.
The years ahead will see this team change and players come and go, but I hope those that performed this year will take time to reflect on how special a group they are, how strong the bond between these young men now is and how well prepared they are for the trials and tribulations of adult life. Sport can be entertaining, enjoyable, frustrating and unfair at times, but being part of a group like this can only ever be rewarding. For ‘the faithful’, those who have watched these boys progress through the years and supported through thick and thin, should be rightly proud of their role too. Whatever else happens we can honestly say that everywhere we go, people want to know, who the hell we are? I, for one, tell them we are “The mighty mighty Dursley”
This is to be my final match report and I wanted to say a brief thank you for your patience and indulgence to my flights of fantasy for the last few seasons, it has been an honour and a pleasure to be ‘your man’.
Scoreline: Bristol Saracens 27 Dursley 29
Best South Cheshire Association Football Dursley RFC sister-club: Crewe Alexandra
Best ‘look like I have wet myself’ entertaining Coach walk of the Season: Lloyd with sciatica
Best Bacon roll in a supporting role: Saracens clubhouse
Best fantasy novel author in a match report gibberish inspiring role: JRR Tolkien
Best Derby winner in a ‘Matt G’ analogy: Nijinksi