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Barnes Harrodian Veterans - Match centre

Harrodian Vets
Farnham L'Escargot's
Sat 7 Jan 15:00 - League Full time

Oh my good God!!!!

No….serious, it’s no laughing matter!!

Oh my good God….., I must confess to you all in private….in fact just make sure no one is reading over your shoulder – all clear……..good! You see I keep waking up all in a sweat having had this most horrid nightmare and what’s really bizarre is I only have it around Christmas time! Worst still it’s been haunting me for four years now!

No….serious, it’s no laughing matter!!

Basically the gist of it, is a load of us from Barnes blinking Harrodian Vets dress up as Turkeys and drive down the A3, sling a left into the Guildford and Godalming RFC Knackers Yard and get utterly butchered by an over enthusiastic 30 man squad of…., well……30 half decent players!!! Worst still this year we even had some younger guys dressed up as Lambs…to the slaughter!
Anyway, recommendations from any of you for a good Physiologist would be appreciated as I can’t keep having this nightmare!!!
On which point Si Curran emailed me…….

Anyway a very happy and peaceful 2017 to you all and I really hope this year we bring everything you all wish for and let’s be honest there is a lot about 2016 we all wish to forget, errrr or 2015, 2014….never mind!

Our first encounter this year was to be Farnham and I kid you not, but I was hoping the pitches would be frozen and we might have a valid reason to re-schedule the fixture to a time that would fit around Sean Gibson’s holiday calendar! You see Sean missed our last encounter against a very strong Farnham RFC to clinch the League title, when he was away on what now transpires was a pottery class to make baby plates and bowls, as twins is expensive!

And it’s the same Farnham I feared could be coming up the A3 to do some more Turkey plucking……(plucking Rhino, not f….never mind and welcome back from the Cape!) as they are a sizeable squad.

So early tactics ensued and my Montgomery AKA Gus Graham suggested we run the life out of Farnham by playing on the freshly goose shite laden 1st XV Pitch where the East stand cast an imperious shadow over half the pitch!!
With the pitch marked up, warm up ensuing, Ref paid off and huge Farnham Vest side turned up, (very smart chaps – Blazers and all) we were good to go, except for some negotiations to undertake!

We are very fortunate at Barnes RFC to own absolutely nothing and so Wandsworth Borough Council very kindly allow us to play on their first class pitches for a small weekly fee…..think Soprano’s, so it was no surprise that the site management were in shock and they wanted us off the pitch and back on our smaller patch of grass in the top corner! Skips engaged in some cordial dialogue in the hope that the season of good will hadn’t fully expired, but it soon became clear than unless Himmler (AKA Ken Macrae) sanctioned it, the dialogue had more chance of looking like a Southern Rail/Unions discussion.

As it was we kicked off and at 14:05 and as ever I have to forewarn you that if you have given up your Sunday Times-online subscription to read a try by try account of what happened, please reinstate it!!!

However, what I can remember is this much!!!!

Farnham came at us bloody hard and were going to use their size and aggression to push us around a bit and quite quickly that paid off as they scored first, I think! No they didn’t they nearly did but we defended with sheer brilliance and literally kept them off our try line, I think! But the Ref hadn’t been paid enough, (Rhino…..? Something perhaps we can now ‘fix’ along with the leaks????!!!!) and penalised us for something! Farnham scored an easy Pen.

Just quickly were credit is due; the Ref in fact managed the game pretty well applying the new rules which as you would imagine for 30 blokes who have been playing for over 30 years, meant we didn’t have a clue what we were doing!

Farnham kept putting pressure on us but when we started to send the ball wide and not get sucked into their huge pack we were able to open them up. In the lineout were without both our usual jumpers, but Jonno worked really hard and won us some good ball. Likewise, Deano and Horse played brilliantly together and Horse relished his tackles!

In the scrum we didn’t dominate and I would say considering man for man they were much bigger we did a cracking job and perhaps went backwards once! The combination of Marty, Yash, Darrel, Nick H and JC working really hard in the front row was excellent and although the Ref was very particular on scrum resets, we did really well here.

For a while we really started to dominate Farnham and put a number of tries on them, but this is a BIG Club side with a BIG heart and there was no way they were giving up and punished us with a few tries when we went to sleep…..deep sleep.
Though the brilliance and utter audacious flair of Rich Mayson playing in perfect harmony with Marek meant we were scoring more tries by slicing Farnham open and giving them little ability to come back at us.

All the boys played really well and our big takeaway was how well we defended and kept a much bigger side out! BIG mentions also to a great first Vets game for Dharshan and as usual big performance from Morgs, but no tries, Russ had one of his better games to make up for missing so many games this season! Great to have Pacehole and Slats back on the park, cracking work by both as were Nick Hamilton and Lewis.

And of course no game is complete without the Orca, or St Bernard, or my Monty…Gus at 9 is slow-motion in HD…….you can watch it pixel by pixel….!

A special mention to Iden at 9 who has slotted into the side perfectly, but I have to mention this…..We had only just gone and won a sublime lineout popped of the top, only for me to hear Iden shout out like an excited 9 year old boy at the Circus watching elephants pirouette on the trapeze…..”Wow great lineout lads” and then he knocked on as he caught it!!! Skips issued a clip round the back the boy’s head – Bloody PE Master style!!

On the telling off front Sam took yellow for a cracking tackle, but just a tad dangerous, but as an Aussie it’s ok!
All in all a very good performance and a few pints of lemonade afterwards as we are all on bloody dry Jan.
It was touching afterwards to hear some players speak fondly of past players and many mentions were made of Clappy, Dizzy and Beaves. One player, who wishes to remain anonymous and in fact is so discreet in the ways he plays wasn’t really noticed really spoke highly of non-other than Jose!

Jose is taking a little time out to let injuries fully heal, but was by far one of our best players, best tacklers, best try scores and all round top Club Man…I can see the Coliseum now!!! We need more players like Jose, great centres or wingers so if anyone knows of any do let us know!? In fact I will reply to Si Currans email and see if he knows anyone!!!

The side was:
Forwards: Marty, Nick Hartley, Yash, Skips, Horse, Pacehole, Jonno, Deano, Beans, JC, Russ, Darrel
Backs: Iden, Gus, Marek, Dharshan, Rich Mayson, Morgs, Lewis, Sam C, Nick Hamilton
Tries: Lewis, Curran, Russ, Rich Mayson x2, Marek x 2
Cons Marek X 5, Rich M X1
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