First Team Sub
Dec 10, 2012, 8:47 AM
Sat 08/12/2012 - Midlands 1 West
Re: [simonblues] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION
Berkeswell & Balsall RUFC 0 Stoke-on-Trent RUFC 51*
* Ha! – the scoring following a second half incident - opinions on the touchline differed! It looked to me like a straight penalty in front of the posts so I scored it as 3 pts: 0-47. The scoreboard and the Stoke supporters around me scored it as an unconverted try to the no.8 and strangely thought the kick was missed – 5 pts: 0-49. The referee however must have awarded a penalty try which was indeed duly converted – 7 pts: 0-51 as per RFU website!!
Admission and programme £3 (16pp, match specific, a good effort!)
Refreshments £2.20 - J2O and crisps from the bar
Attendance 66 (h/c)
A re-completion of the M1W league clubs for the Ostrich. BBRFC play in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle between Solihull, Coventry and Warwick, technically in Honiley Road, Meer End, which is just off the A4177 south of Balsall Common. It's directly underneath the southern incoming flight path for Birmingham International Airport, which led to the interesting spectacle of a low altitude PIA Airbus lining up with the floodlights during the second half.
BBRFC is a relatively new club, founded in 1981. There are two pitches, side by side, the main one railed, and with a manual scoreboard. The main pitch is also floodlit, the second pitch half-floodlit down one side only. There's plenty of acreage on the campus for a third full-size pitch, but this area seemed to be marked out with three mini-rugby pitches.
Through the gates, there's a car park for around 60 cars on a rough surface that comprised equal measures of gravel, mud and oak leaves, and the smallish brick and tile clubhouse and changing rooms are set at an angle in one corner. I didn't venture into the bar initially as the Members' Christmas Dinner was in full swing for around 80 folk, and therefore perambulated round the ground where ominously just one side was warming up. Numerous intense mobile phone calls were being made by various officials and as kick-off time approached, I thought I'd better find out what was happening. The guy I spoke to (who turned out in fact to be the Warwickshire Society match referee) advised that Stoke had been held up on the M6 (see Simonblues report above! ), but were now straggling in, seemingly in a convoy of cars, and he was therefore intending to kick off 15 minutes late at 14:30.
So, back to the bar, where I managed to quietly tuck myself away from the happy hordes lunching, for a juice and crisps, no other food being available today for casual visitors. Eventually the teams emerged and threw everyone by lining up for the kick-off on the far training pitch, requiring us spectators to trek across the main pitch, which proved to be a quagmire.
As for the match, it really was no contest. Stoke, playing down the slight slope, carved up the home side remorselessly in the first half, leading 0-29 at the break. BB hardly got out of their own half and were outplayed in just about every department, especially the scrum. Their handling was poor and their tackling often desperate in defence. Stoke's aptly named fly-half Sam Christmas led the festivities with some accurate place-kicking, Duggan, Wilshaw and Rowley all scoring tries.
After an audibly expletive-laden half-time coaching talk, BB made a better fist of the second half, but even when awarded a penalty in front of the posts - "Let's get some points on the board, let's get moving" hollered the coach - contrived to make a right hash of the kick. Stoke were more or less happy to hold them at bay, and then let rip up the hill in the closing stages, scoring two more tries from Christmas and Loska to complete the whitewash.
BB were promoted into M1W this season, and at this half-way mark currently occupy one of the three relegation slots. A long, hard winter in store for them, I'm afraid …..
(This post was edited by Ostrich on Dec 10, 2012, 8:50 AM)