Dursley Rugby Football Club
End of an era for our 2016-17 Colts
26th April 2017
An ending is an inevitable part of any story and so it was that Saturday past saw the conclusion of the 15-a-side tale of the 2016-17 Dursley Colts, a tale that began for many 12 seasons ago.
After an excellent season, one that had seen this talented team lose only 3 games (against just 2 teams), Coach Lloyd was determined to ensure a fitting end to the boys’ youth careers. International opposition in the form of touring Canadian Colts side, Abbey Park High School, providing the perfect climax.
The selection of our arbiter for the day, one of a calibre befitting such an important fixture, was never the difficulty, securing their services less certain. The prospect of officiating a fixture of such note proving sufficient enticement to lure the Chosen One, Sir Mark of North Nibley, from a 2-year whistle-blowing sabbatical.
Weather (12.7C, sunny spells and still please), pitch condition (easy to firm please) ordered and delivered, pulled pork for 100 cooked and delivered, VP Ken and son graciously volunteering for club opening and bar duties, all that was missing to begin our tale were our Official Scorer, Major Cox and eagle eyed linesman, Feisty’s Dad. Major Cox delivered, neither Feisty or Dad did! Fittingly it was injured Colts stalwarts Jack’s Back and Thing 1, who assumed AR duties for the day.
Profundities exhausted over the past 11 seasons, Coach Lloyd’s pre-match talk in the lavish surroundings of the newly complete changing parlours, extended no further than a simple ‘keep it simple’ message.
A number of injuries had reduced the tourist’s playing numbers to 12 giving the Dursley subs an opportunity to play Canucks for the first half of the game.
Resplendent in freshly dusted off blue regalia of GLADREF, our arbiter took centre stage to launch the epic.
No sooner it seemed than the pea had first rattled to commence Act 1 and Sir Mark’s progeny, HP, clattered over for the Mighty Dursley first points - in his own words ‘Aha ye, um just went blind and there wasn't really anyone there.’ Batman calmly converts. 7-0
A good restart by Abbey Park’s flyhalf, the visitor’s player of the match, fielded and run back at pace into the advancing Abbey Park pack by Dursley, who then made ground through a number of strong pod runs down the left before spreading it right to Eben P who made a powerful break between the centres then offloaded it out the back to fullback Adam C cutting an inside line, who used his newly found, prodigious step on his opposite number to cross the line. Batman unlucky not to add the extras. 12-0
Abbey Park were stung by the bullocking start and were determined to show their skills. Quick hands from a breakdown and their inside centre with blistering pace took the wide route outflanking the defence and dived over the line for an excellent solo try. Batman’s defiant last ditch covering tackle adjudged to have been high, a yellow card testimony to a lack of home team bias. Conversion unsuccessful. 12-5
12 minutes in and a typically abrasive close range charge by Fearless from a quick tap penalty saw him cross for Dursley’ 3rd. Batman misses. 17-5
Kick off taken by a jumping Thing 2 who, as he had done all game, tore into the defensive line before him, powerfully fending off would-be tacklers before finding himself in the clear and finishing his run like a winger for his first of the day. Back from penitentiary, Batman converts. 24-5
Dursley were now well into their work and with the forwards laying the perfect platform for the backs it was a high stepping Ollie G, playing on the wing, who crossed the whitewash to finish an excellent move through the backs. Back in kicking form Batman obliges with the extras. 31-5
Having enjoyed a stellar season, Dursley’ own Mr T, Ben C, finding himself ball in hand on the left-hand side of the pitch came right looking for space and finding it stormed through and under the sticks for Dursley’ 6th of the morning. Conversion no challenge for our sharpshooter. 38-5
With 3 minutes remaining of Act 1 and Coach (now Reporter) Lloyd on blister duty, the next passage of play, and Ollie G’s second was missed. In the absence of any accurate retelling of his feat it was no doubt a try of magical proportions – double pumps, hitch kicks, right and left foot steps and the odd swerve which saw him cross the line. Kicking leg overworked, Batman fails to add to the score.
With Henry P suffering from overworked feet and blisters, and The Sargent departing early, Coach Lloyd rang the changes bringing the subs back from the Canuck fold and offering our visitors Cap’n C, Shea D and the machine that is Joel W, the opportunity for honorary Canadian citizenship for the next half.
Down to 13, and with Abbey Park determined to make amends, the next 6 minutes found Dursley absorbing pressure the new Canadian lineout of Rivers-Cole, Wagstaff and Davis interrupting what had been a stable set piece for the home side. A ball to ground and it was Joel W who reacted first and bursting through the first line of defence set sail for the Dursley line, Mr T and Batman in hot pursuit. If ever his pace was doubted it was on show now, clearly outpacing his teammates to finish. Extras not added. 43-10
The game see sawed for the next period but it was finally a powerful mid-field burst by Eben, bumping and barging, that saw him in the clear and over the line. Stiffness worked through, Batman converts. 50-10
The pace and simplicity of the Dursley game, clinical cleaning out at the breakdown and quick ball, was proving difficult for the visitors to contain. Awarded a penalty 5 meters out, the home side opted for the scrum and Thing 2 picked up from the base and bullocked over for his second. Back to his best batman on target. 57-10
With subs resubbed to allow the U18 trio to finish their playing careers in home colours it was Joel who scored what was to be the Mighty Colts’ final try after gathering a Fearless pop pass from the base of the ruck and a surging, stepping, weaving winger’s run to the line – not bad for a lock! Not many can point to scoring for both sides in the same game. Batman, after an outstanding season which has seen him deservedly win a place in the Dursley First XV, fittingly scored the final points of the 15-a-side season. 64-10
This win sits alongside the 7-47 win away against County finalists, Hornets, as your best performance of the season – a game plan followed to the letter.
Credit goes to our Canadian friends who never gave up in spite of the score line. A big thank you to Sir Mark for a game expertly handled despite a lengthy layoff and to Major Cox without whom this report would not have been possible.
And now to the final chapter – the always enjoyable Cirencester 7’s.
It remains for me to say that the past 11 seasons have not only been hugely rewarding but an immense privilege. To witness your progression, as individuals and as a collective, more inspiring than I could possibly have imagined.
Thank you boys it has been a blast!