First Team Sub
Sep 14, 2013, 8:36 PM
After Worcester Olympic in the morning, (WDYG thread), I made the short drive to Offerton Lane, home of Worcester Wanderers, to see if they had indeed kicked-off at 12:00 as suggested on one part of their website (so I could see the second half) – but found it was in fact a 3:00 start.
Re: [cherryhopper] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION
The problem with Worcester Wanderers (National 3 South West this year) is that the ground’s over the road, literally, from Worcester Warriors, who were at home today against London Irish. Parking for Warriors matches appears to be fairly horrendous – it’s either park and ride from somewhere remote, or park and walk from somewhere else remote, the walk being described as 15 to 25 minutes, muddy, and torch required for evening games ! Now Wanderers have their own car park, but illogically, you can only use it when Warriors are at home – if Warriors are away, you then have to use yet another park and ride car-park, this one being next to the Warriors ground, and which appears to be closed altogether when Warriors are at home.
The logic of all these parking conditions escaped me, so I decided to forgo any form of Worcester rugby (I certainly wouldn’t pay the mega-bucks required to attend a Warriors game), and it was a gentle meander on to …….
Midlands 2 West (South)
Droitwich 28 Old Leamingtonians 33
Programme: none – it’s hit and miss whether a club produces anything at this level; Droitwich don’t.
Refreshments: salted peanuts before the game 50p from the bar; 2 x burgers with onions at half-time from the kitchen £3.60
Attendance: 48 (h/c)
The Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground is a fair old complex. It’s off the Hanbury Road, about ½ mile outside the town; you turn left into an entrance drive which curves up and over a canal, and through another entrance gate into the large car park with the clubhouse in front of you. Just before this second entrance, on the right, is Droitwich Marina, a huge complex with upwards of 50 moored boats – a great location if you’re a barge-spotter, but bring binoculars as security is fairly heavy.
There were also veritable flocks of pied wagtails, which is great if you’re a bird-spotter; binoculars not needed as you keep tripping over the damn things as you walk around the ground. There was also something called a Predator hidden under a heavy tarpaulin which was either a scrummage machine, or a heavy pitch roller, or possibly even both.
The rugby ground contains a main railed pitch behind the clubhouse, unusually it’s floodlit, and at least 6 other rugby pitches (one floodlit) together with quite a decent railed soccer ground at the far end which has hoardings proclaiming it to be Westbury Celtic FC, who I think are in a Redditch local league. The clubhouse is nothing special, in the bar there are three well-stocked trophy cabinets, a few photos and visiting club badges, and there are some framed shirts in the Rob Bray Room. There’s a small kitchen next to the bar dispensing food but it’s all a bit low key.
This match was variously advertised to kick off at 14:30 or 15:00, eventually it was 15:00 after both sides had warmed up on the pitch for well over an hour!
And what a match it was! 40 seconds in, Leamingtonians were awarded a penalty, a Droitwich player knocked the ball away, the referee was having none of that, marched them forward 10 yards to just within range, dead centre, and L.15 hoisted over a huge long range kick. Two minutes later, Droitwich were awarded a penalty for offside (“Who’s offside, ref?” “Yer were ALL offside!!”), that one was missed, but Droitwich had another one on 5m, closer to the posts, and D.10 brought the scores level.
Further penalties were exchanged by the 20th minute, and then D.19 was very nearly in for the first try but slipped at a crucial moment. On 24m, D.12 beat two men on the outside left and went in, running under the posts, the conversion made it 13-6. Leamingtonians were putting in some sterling defensive work to keep Droitwich at bay, but forged back to take a 13-14 lead with a L.10 unconverted try, a herculean effort, and L.15 penalty just before the break.
Play resumed and Leamingtonians went further in front on 43m, L.17 galloping away from the defence, and the try converted. Three minutes later and a Droitwich penalty rebounded off the post – you sensed it wasn’t going to be their day. But back they came. D.11 ran through weak tackling on 56m for a converted try and D.10 put over a penalty from 35 yards two minutes later to make it 23-21.
On 63m, L.7 forced the ball over in the left corner, unconverted, and a 73m converted L.10 try, which was hotly contested on suspicion of grounding and a double move, took Leamingtonians to 23-33. But D.2 went over for an unconverted try on 76m to make it 28-33 and set up a grand finale, with the home team pounding away in the final minutes at a desperate but solid Leamingtonians defence, who held on for the win.
A brilliant match, it was the sort of enthralling game you wish you could have carried on watching for another hour!
(This post was edited by Ostrich on Sep 14, 2013, 8:59 PM)