A bright sunny day at the King George field was filled with the smell of revenge along with subtle whiffs of the sewage plant next door! Match day was upon us after a disappointing show before the Christmas break, losing heavily to our arched rivals.
Tactically we decided to use the outside pitch, allegedly the boys first option, using their inside knowledge and geographical understanding! Not sure who decided that? Luckily the pitch was in ‘fair nick’ to play the rugby of our choice. Selection must’ve been a challenge this week after last weekend’s great result at South Molton. This combined with the wisdom of the coaches opting to name the starting XV for complete transparency on the WhatsApp group, was met with great satisfaction and positivity.
Disappointingly Barnstable arrived with a minimal 14 players, wanting to go uncontested in the scrums. Great respect to Tom ‘Not lost on Dartmoor’ Holme for agreeing to start the match playing for the opposition. He played well all game despite not playing with his team-mates.
The abundance of players caused confusion to who was on-field for the aging Bidee supporters and was more akin to ‘guess the player’ as the sparkly white shirts were quickly dulled in the mud and dirt of the pitch, combined with ‘poodle -haircuts’ all round.
The boys started strongly and looked cohesive in their play, taking short ball around the base of the ruck and maul – Both sides got stuck into each other in a fierce and ferocious battle allowing Bidee plenty of ball to run using sound tactics to gain territory. A turnover ball was sent deep into the Barum half by Curly ‘one-foot’ Jarrott, that was quickly re- gained by the Bidee loose forwards – three quick rucks allowed Charlie ‘Sniper’ Stevenson to sneak over for the first try 7-0 with conversion by Mr Carrick.
The re-start was well played out by some good ¾ running and attacking play with excellent ball retention – The loose forward battle was evident; Moose ‘I’ll go route one’ Waters, combined well with Will ‘my brother selected me’ Bliss, set up Monty ‘mile high club’ Olde to attempt a weight advantage over the bigger opposition – guess who won?!! Reu Twinnette, was joined by his brother Sam ‘pony-tail’ Twinnette after El Capitano was being treated for injury. The Twinette / Olde combo worked well in the line out and possession went in Bidee’s favour, with a wide play sending Finn ‘inches from the touch line’ Johnson to sneak in the corner, 12-0 Bidee.
The Barum re start kick was gathered well by Bidee who counter attacked into the Barum half with pace and a flowing ¾ line. Some silky passing and help from a Barum head, allowed Harv ‘my mums doin the shirts next week’ Foreman to subtly pass to Fullback Lucas ‘50-meter sprint’ Clackett to shrug off tackles and gallop to the line 17-0 Bidee.
Half time score 17-0 Bidee, gave the coaches an opportunity to make changes and examine depth in attack – Ryan ‘Sinclaire’ Patterson beefed up the front row and took the ball well into contact early doors. Marley ‘007’ Carrs started aggressively from the re-start, only to have a clash of heads in his first minute – HIA removed the 10 to the side-line.
More changes (Finishers) with the ever-present Jayden ‘back in the fold’ Cook for Tom ‘Lolipop Poodle 2’ Polhill gave some additional pace to the back line. A big welcome to Matthew ‘another poodle haircut’ Goodman to the team, after a long wait to enter the squad. Some nice early touches showed promise for the future – well done Poodle 3!
Marley ‘shaken but not stirred’ was back in the room and gained control at No 10, whilst Pocket Rocket took his turn with the other team – Thankyou Charlie for this!
Barum took control for the early part of the second half and showed their true spirit – Bidee looked comfortable in defence and used all their effort and aggression to avoid any Barum opportunities to attack with strength. Some cracking tackles by all kept Barum at bay, and a crunching tackle from Joe ‘ hit the man into next week’ Westcott nearly bulldozed the crowd nearby!
A sound penalty by Sandy ‘Lets play No 9’ meant a 20-0 lead.
Barum finally entered the Bidee Half and came away with a try that was highly debated with the opposition’s parents! The Barum conversion however was superb.
A comment from the Bidee supporters ran the theme of Dad’s Army – ‘they don’t like it up em’!
Some final position changes in the third quarter brought back on Jon ‘Slim fit’ Taylor’ back into the affray to set up a perfect ruck; this let our Loosehead Prop Mr Hen ‘Farrell’ Willis take the ball from a ruck and under pressure spiralled the ball 40m into the corner. This was witnessed by the whole Willis Clan with mouths open wide!
Curley ‘Poodle 1’ came on a late counterattack who linked with Jayden ‘great line’ Cook to quickly recycle to ball – Some quick rucking from the troops, gave us close opportunity to get near the Barum line – Finally after much attrition the ever-dependable Henry ‘Wicked Witch of the North’ Cousins to claim the try – a great team effort for this score. 25 -7 win to Bideford.
A great controlled match by the Bidee boys, with all squad players contributing to the win against the arched enemy Barnstaple.
A late Phone call Sunday evening came as a surprise to the ‘Bat Phone’ of Gillian with a request from Crediton for a re-match. I’m sure the last two matches will give the boys confidence and spirt to take the ball to the heavy pack of Credy next weekend.
Unfortunately, we will lose Sandy ‘Lost on Exmoor’ Carrick, Henry ‘I’m not in the school play really’ Cousins and Reu ‘Twinette Knock out’ Peart for several reasons!
Good luck boys, lets train and plan well for Next Sunday.