Blackpool Stanley u15 0 Haydock Warriors u15 35
|League||Under 15s League 2015|
Stanley started this game full of confidence, buoyed by their convincing away win against Bamber Bridge the previous week. The mood was also lifted as the last time Stanley and Haydock had faced each other, the Stanley boys had held their own despite a player deficit. This Sunday, on home territory, and with a full squad, there were high expectations amongst the coaches, parents and supporters.
Unfortunately it wasn’t long into the first-half before a polished and well-drilled Haydock began to dictate the game. They were able to whizz the ball along the line, break through the Stanley defences, score, convert – although, it has to be said, not entirely without challenge. It’s just that Stanley couldn’t quite find their rhythm. The continuing barrage from Haydock and with score quickly clicking up to twenty-odd nil, there was a Dad’s Army Frazer-esque sense of “we’re all doomed” amongst the Stanley Home Guard, especially as Harry Trask was stretchered off after losing the use of his favourite leg.
But the spirit of Captain Mainwaring’s ragtag but well meaning bunch must have been felt at half-time talk, but perhaps without the fearfulness of a Corporal Jones, “don’t panic!”. Sergeant Wilson had put the brakes on any rash changes (do you think that’s wise, Sir?) and it was a substantially similar team which was wheeled out for the second stanza. But this time, they knew their enemy.
New recruit Callum Green was called up for duty and whilst Stanley remained on the back foot, they were able to slow the onslaught. There were even chances in attack but Haydock managed to hold our lads down. Literally in some tackles. Appeals to the ref (permission to speak,Sir?) went unheard and as the time ticked on, the Haydock score hit 35 after a late drop goal. Stanley just couldn’t get their break although Hooker, Ben Hindley came the closest to scoring but for a “Godfrey moment” as he was “caught short” just before the try line.
Despite the score, the efforts of the boys in the second half meant that not one had “done a Pike” to earn the “stupid boy” derision of The Captain. But it’s safe to say there’s work to do in training. Will our boys will be ready for the next meeting, fully equipped, bayonets at the ready? Who do you think you are kidding, Mr. Haydock? Of course they will!