Titanic Manor thump bitter rivals
This weeks match report
Quite a few of us expected a Woodford cry off this week, so imagine our glee when midweek Mike informed us that they had confirmed they'd be able to fulfil the fixture and the game was on.
Our Woodford rejects were particularly looking forward to this game, and the skipper had promised £50 to the first person who set him up with a try against his former side (worth noting that both of the aforementioned rejects actually missed the away fixture so they had some way to go to proving their worth).
Being a special game, Luigi and I thought we'd get the boys pumped up by hanging the shirts up in the changing rooms ready for when everyone got there. The team, obviously not used to being shown such hospitality, thought that must mean the first team must be at home so made themselves at home in the familiar comforts of the 3rd team changing room.
The game kicked off and we immediately started putting pressure on the Woodford defence, Mike was put through five metres out with only a man to beat and inexplicably dropped the ball. This wasn't due to him getting cold feet about paying out for an assist but more likely due to the shakes. He'd proudly told us before the game this was the first match this season (and possibly ever in the history of his illustrious rugby career) that he wasn't turning up with a hangover.
It was left to the other turncoat, Martin Mitchell to get the first score, going over near the posts with a few men hanging off him, extras were taken. Shortly after this, the ball was fed out to young Jacob who bounced/brushed/boshed (in that order) through three hopeless Woodford players and dotted the ball down near the sideline, the difficult conversion was missed.
Manor scored twice more before half time, Ilford John got his first try for the team, taking a good contact on the line and spinning out of tackle to down the ball. John's performance in the bar however was rather lacklustre (where real fourth team performances are judged) his pint taking him longer than it takes Sweet Pete to get out of the changing room. Before the break Klaus went in under the posts, a theme of this season!
At the interval, they informed us that their only hooker was injured and couldn't continue, this meant that we'd have to go uncontested for the second half. Looking back this helped us massively, as our side was a bit younger than theirs on the day. A few changes were made with the front rowers taking some rest and some more mobile forwards being pushed onto the pitch, (including myself with a foray at hooker) notably a rampaging second half performance by the infamous 'Pants' (who is he anyway?)
After the restart, it turned into an onslaught, Woodford only really got close to our try line once, but never looked like threatening and we piled on the points. Man of The Match Jacob scored his second and third tries to complete his hattrick, Jack was on the scoresheet again, Dom barrelled (no surprises there) over the line on his return and Mike managed to make it over the line. This came by way of the forever young Tony Osborne who probably could have scored himself but realised that his pick up truck would probably use £50 worth of petrol on the way home so rather wisely passed it.
Although the scoreline suggests otherwise, this was a proper fourth team fixture, with no ringers on either side, at least I hope not for Woodford's sake. We put in a good performance from start to finish, which is exactly what was needed as we go into next week's potential title decider at Westcliff.