30 Jan '22

Bideford U15s – Revenge is Sweet!

After a succession of pre and post-Christmas defeats by the Bide crew, it was felt we needed much more of the old comradery, Gaelic flair and passion – there were glimpses of this last week against the mighty pack of Okey, where the Bide boys played with a spirit and commitment lacking of late.

The coaches had a cunning plan! This obviously had been cultivated during selection whilst enjoying several medicinal beverages! There were some eyebrow raising new positional tactics, with the loss of the Ryan ‘PCR’ Patterson the Twinettes to ballet classes, Will ‘freezing his chuff in a tent’ Bliss, Tom ‘lost on Dartmoor’ Holme, Henry ‘Lateral Flow’ Pope and Jayden ‘covid friendly’ Cooke, meant the coaches having more of a re-shuffle than Boris’ cabinet!

The teams Pre match WhatsApp messages did not portray great confidence and solid platform to enable a good start to this re-match – This was added with a Rosey cheeked Ref who looked lost and better placed in the U13’s; this meant an interesting hour ahead!

The first half flowed slightly in Bide’s favour playing with the slope providing some good quality passages of play. Offence was the way forward and Bide put together some quality attacks, although some lateral ¾ play meant we didn’t impact as well as we should have.  A series of plays and good possession in the left-hand corner gave the boys three close attempts before a touchdown was given to Monty ‘grass muncher’ Olde, sliding millimetres over the line. 5-0 Bide.

A very promising debut was made by the strong running Tom ‘lollipop’ Polhil, whom we welcome to the squad.  His hard-hitting tackles and turn of pace were welcome and bodes well for the future.

S’molton were never going to give up and a series of attacks let their long-legged giraffe-like stand-off run under the posts for an easy conversion 7-5.  This was compounded with a team low point; a defensive penalty caused a fractious debate on who was going to kick for touch? – not something to argue about in future matches chaps!

Bide hit back with the newly formed 2nd row partnership of Carrick and Jarrett, reminiscent of Ackford and Dooley in their day (boys look them up), getting involved in nitty gritty areas of the game.  As ever the mighty dependable Henry ‘Wizzard of Oz’ Cousins (ask him boys!) was dynamic in all departments, linking well with Harvey ‘twinkle toes’ Foreman in both attack and defence.  The Front row trio also performed well, particularly in the set piece plays – Messers, Hen ‘Okey Striped’ Willis, Joe ‘Le crunch’ Westcott and Jon ‘Too-Tall’ Taylor, always played their part in the action.  A loose turnover ball by the Bide pack gave an opportunity and deftly created pass by ‘Charlie ‘Mr Versatile’ Stevenson to Captain ‘The Moose’ Waters who snuck through the S’molton defence like a hot knife through butter –  12-7 after conversion by Curly J. 

Half-time was upon us and some interesting encouragement from Joe ‘wash my mouth out with soap and water’ Westcott, was witnessed by touchline supporters and his red-faced father!

A swap at the break – Tyler ‘top-tackle’ Short for Will ‘lightfoot’ Buck gave us confidence to run the ball up the hill.  This was combined with the change at 9, using the spritely Lucas ‘top tackler’ Cackett for his opportunity to shine in the coveted No 9 shirt.  Smolton came back using their local knowledge of the home advantage once they were camped on the Bide line – try near the posts meant 7 points and 14-12 Smolton, at this crucial part of the match.

Bide worked hard to dominate up the hill and had opportunities to move the ball wide wherever possible.  A lineout near the Smolton line gave a series of rucks and mauls to allowed Moose ‘The Brace’ Waters another scoring opportunity for his duo of tries.  17-14 Bide.

Bide absorbed much pressure at the re-start from the Smolton offence and defended well close to their line – a memorable clearance by fly half, Marley ‘sun got in my eyes’ Carrs, gave the ball back to the opposition who manged a sound few passes to score in the corner 19-17 Smolton.  Marley came back with the bit between his teeth and finished the game being a future contender for the No 10 shirt.

The final few minutes were tense for all – penalties were exchanged with a last ditched[mw1]  attempt for a lineout on the Smolton 5-meter line.  Forward possession and an inroad into the heart of the Smolton defence by the Bide pack, gave a chance for the backs to move the ball – Lucas to Sandy breaking from the stand-off position, who managed a deft pass to Finn ‘Hero winning try’ Johnson to scurry over the line for the match clinching 5 points.  The conversion meant a final score of 24-19 Bideford.

The referee was mentioned earlier in the report – He was excellent, despite being 12, and it was a positive experience for the boys to witness ‘player’ frustration with the ref, that led to being marched back 10m for some form of descent – good to see apologies given to the ref at half time – great rugby spirit…

Bideford 24 – 19 South Molton

Good result and much needed confidence for the rest of the season. Hoping that the passion and desire to learn and grow as players continues – there is a lot of positivity, commitment and huge potential in this team – Selection will be challenging this week and let’s hope it’s not heard in the same venue as last week!! Lets get Barum READY!!!!

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