First Team Sub
Apr 9, 2011, 6:20 PM
Saturday 9 April, 2011
Re: [Workington FC] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION
Midlands 1 West
Sutton Coldfield RFC 86 Banbury RFC 11
Admission (non member) - £4 including programme. £2 if you’re a member.
Programme – 16pp of which 9 ½ were advertising. Teams, league table, previous 2 weeks league results lifted from the RFU website, last 2 games match reports, that’s it. No welcome, nothing about the junior sides, no photos …. At least these days the website’s a better effort than previously.
Attendance – 147 by h/c
Refreshments – ½ Strongbow and cheese bun £2.30 at the bar. There was also the usual free buffet for visitors, and I classify myself as a visitor although it’s only a 10 minute stroll from house to ground. I limited myself to two large green olives and a rather indeterminate sandwich, which may or may not have involved fish paste ….
Ground – large sporting complex comprising 5 rugby pitches, a cricket field, tennis courts, and what might be an indoor sports hall, although it’s difficult to tell, largely as I’ve never found out how you gain access to it.
The main pitch is alongside the clubhouse with the seconds pitch parallel to it. I usually patrol the narrow no-mans land between these two pitches, covering both matches, although you have to be alert not to be dinged on the head by a wayward ball from Match B while concentrating on Match A. Or taken out from behind by an over-enthusiastic front-row forward, for that matter. I was only hit once during this afternoon’s proceedings ….
A third pitch, on the other side of the entrance driveway, is floodlit (10 pylons) and I assume used for training – I’ve never known an evening match there, although I have seen the Colts use it on an afternoon.
There’s car parking for well over 100 vehicles, mainly gravel, and the gravelled area has been extended since last year. The clubhouse is a two-storey affair, bars at both levels, which can get over-crowded. Two TV screens in the lower bar, showing Bristol v Munster, I believe. Makes a change from Chelsea.
No stands or cover around the main pitch, which is railed on the clubhouse / changing room side and “post and taped” on the other three. Pitch in immaculate condition for the time of the year.
Game - with Banbury second from bottom of the league with only 20 points, this was always going to be a rout; indeed, Sutton had scored 107 points in the reverse fixture. The match should have been a meaningful rout, but because Sutton, going head-to-head with Dudley Kingswinford for the top spot and promotion, had lost their last 2 games (including the league fixture at DK), they now have to be content with second place and the play-offs, so in the event it was rather a meaningless rout.
Sutton scored after 1 minute 24 seconds, wide in the right hand corner and that set the tone of the game. They were 50-6 up at half time, and eventually ran in 14 tries, many unopposed as the away side’s cover and tackling was abysmal. Nathan Burchill posted two tries with trademark weaving runs, one right across the pitch from wide left to a score in the right hand corner. A further two tries were scored literally from first possession after restarts. The highlight try was actually Banbury’s, though, when their lock, Brand, intercepted the ball and positively lumbered 40 yards to score, fending off two tackles in the process.
The referee, John Schofield (Notts, Lincs and Derby Society) had a very good game and hardly missed a trick (although I reckon one Sutton try included a forward pass which he missed). I noticed he was “miked” and as it’s club linesman at this level, that seemed odd, but on enquiry, I found there was a dreaded referee’s assessor at the game – and it was he who was listening in !! There was just one bout of unnecessary handbags which resulted in a player from each team being sin-binned, but otherwise it was very much a by-the-book match with no controversy.
Meanwhile, on t’other pitch, Bournville 2nds surprisingly tanked Sutton Coldfield 2nds 51-10, in a match that was nearly as one-sided as the main affair. So, 158 points over two matches on a hot, spring afternoon – not bad, and I’ve now completed re-ticking the teams in this league.
(This post was edited by Ostrich on Apr 9, 2011, 6:22 PM)