Blackpool Stanley u15 16 Higginshaw u15 30

Date 12/07/2015
League Under 15s League 2015

Whilst watching this weekend’s fixture at Kingscote Park, you would be forgiven if some Mike Batt lyrics came to your mind. That’s right, that song about the peculiar breed of Wimbledon residents who pick up and recycle litter.  Okay, the game was played exclusively “overground” but the first half was notable for Stanley’s success at forcing mistakes and their knack in making good use of things left behind (mainly the surprising number of balls being dropped by top of the table Higginshaw).

The song continues: “Wombles are organised, work as a team”. And it certainly seemed that the burgeoning Stanley squad had recycled the mojo found in the second half of last week’s game. Stanley asserted themselves like Great Uncle Bulgaria – stern but fair.  Stanley’s early dominance led to George Guy taking the first try of the game after five or so minutes and this was followed by a perfect kick from Danny Siddal.

Higginshaw came back fighting but it wasn’t long before George had again secured the lead with his second try. Higginshaw weren’t going to roll over and in the fight back it was only balls bouncing off the posts which held their half-time score at 14 points – just four more that the hosts had managed.

With everything to play for, the second half began in much the same fashion as the first. When he came on the pitch, Harry Trask provided some instant entertainment. Like Orinoco, he loves sleep and food but is capable of some surprising acts of moral and physical courage. Lately he has developed some power to go with his speed. Danny Stretton was again in the role of Bungo, enthusiastic and bossy. Winger Matt Webster, was like Tomsk, the athletic one, storming around the defence. And Dean Harding’s perfectly-timed tackles made him Wellington, the Womble with the scientific and calculating mind.

“People don’t notice us, they never see”, goes the song. But the Stanley Props, Connor Willis, Matty Stelfox and Ross Swarbrick certainly made their presence felt. And in the centre, James Guy and CJ Tyrrell and Phil Hardy-Dearness were each “making the most of everything”. But as Higginshaw started to turn on, Stanley started to turn off.  Some disorder and a wiggly defensive line let the visitors make their mark three times in succession. In attack, Stanley had taken the recycling a bit too far by becoming far too predictable.  Four scoots in a set of six? No variation in the play? It didn’t take any evil genius for Higginshaw to work out what was coming.  And when they had the ball they were becoming more creative than Elizabeth Beresford (she created the Wombles BTW).

Ironically, the second half’s lowest point may also have led to its highest. Stanley’s very own Tobermory (appears gruff and surley but has a kind heart) Sean Craven, clashed heads with his opposite number. He was quickly replaced on the pitch by winger Ben Hindley. This not-so-obvious interchange may well have been a masterstroke by Coach Oli Winter, who was presiding over this Womblegarten with the pride and affection of Miss Adelaide.

Out of nowhere, Jordan Hindley powered towards the sticks and as he was held up, popped a perfect offload to his brother Ben, who because he was out of his usual position was able to take his first try of this season! After an easy conversion by Nathan Winter you could almost hear the words “pick up the pieces and make them into something new”. Unfortunately, Stanley had come back a little too late to reclaim the deficit and the final whistle blew with the score at 30-16.  At least Madame Cholet had some tasty hot-dogs on the Club House cooker.

Tries: George Guy (2), Ben Hindley (1)
Convesions: Danny Siddal (1), Nathan Winter (1).