Posted by: Monty on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012


Part of the Union:

Oh, you don’t get me, I’m part of the union
You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
Until the day I die
Until the day I die

Folk Rock/Glam Rock band, The Strawbs, 1973

Game plans, strategy and heartfelt belief are all you need to succeed, to fail all you need are, availability problems, alcoholic fuelled Fridays and stomach bugs. These three facets did not help the social animal that is the Lion, but we got a team out, and a good team on paper but paper is paper and deeds need doing, and alcohol is for after the match, looking over the parapet of the bridge you will see water running under it, then its gone, to be replaced by more water, and so we go on to the next battle, only to look back later, and only then to smile, shake our heads and say, “ aye, we got that one wrong”. And so on to the match.

From the first Formby sortie that left Taff dazed on his back after bravely standing in the way of a Viking juggernaut, the writing was on the wall. “At least you got in his way” said Biscuit. “Wish I hadn’t” said my brain. It wasn’t that we were that bad, it’s just we didn’t click. There was some great endeavour from the backs, and some great scrumaging from the forwards. Unfortunately never the twain shall meet shall we say! Formby exploited the gaps; we failed to plug them, show stopper really.

Grinch probed, Robertson bashed, Dowling evaded, nothing doing. Kendrick thrashed, Robinson jinked, no joy. Tam tackled, Compton stomped, dead ends. Lane huffed, Taff puffed, met brick walls. This is the word, and the word doesn’t lie. Formby were up for it, we were not and that my fellow Kirkians is basically it. Though a massive plus point was the Lions’ best player on the day, Peter Robinson who really has developed into a tidy rugby player. He nearly scored after the best Kirk passage of play which saw him denied in the corner by some excellent cover tackling by the Vikings, and his neat little sidestep to get the Lions out of trouble in their own half when the full-back was absent on far too many occasions. Peter has become a true Lion and has Ormskirk running through his veins. We will do well to tap into this spirit; I’m definitely drinking his homebrew! Sad thing is Peter was not our man of the match, which comes later.
Another bonus was once again Reece Laney-Lane who stepped up to fill the large space vacated by Tim Farley who was called up to the 3rd team. I didn’t miss Tim in the scrums, and that’s some accolade for young Reece. Plenty still to work on with technique and fitness but that’s another Lions’ ethos: adapt; improve; move up.

Taff’s kicking game has come on in leaps and bounds as well. 20 metres out with the ball and a Formby monster charging at him with no support, the thought process is thus: Option 1; run hard and fast into said opposition and lose the ball as the support is 20 metres back; Option 2; Drop the ball, scream mother and run like hell in the opposite direct; Option 3; Become a Welsh 70s legend like Gareth Edwards, attempt a chip over the top, chase and score; I chose the latter, “sweet as” over the top of the startled Formby player who saved himself much embarrassment by getting a finger tip to the ball to thwart Taff’s attempt at glory! We won’t mention he was offside, we were awarded a penalty and one who shall not be named got the tap penalty attempt very wrong, and no, he wasn’t Welsh!!!!!!!

Anyway, we lost, Formby won and we have no one to blame but ourselves. The telling factor in our under performance was Lions’ star-man, Phil Tattersall. Who I hear you ask? Exactly, just before the start this young lad who I vaguely recognized came up to me and asked for a game. 14 men became 15 and I tell you this, without him we would have lost by even more. The guy was a real killing machine charging to and fro shouting and tackling and generally playing like a Lion should. I herby thank a local club who didn’t have a game for lending us such a spirited, talented lad, he is a credit to you for sure and I can’t praise his efforts high enough. Thanks Phil, man of the match for us, Lions; I hope you noticed and took some inspiration from him.

We end on the positives, the above song lyrics might have got you thinking that
This was me rebuffing an offer from our rugby league brethren, (I told them 3 Mars Bars or no deal, too demanding apparently…..). Thankfully, no, this is about a union, rugby union, and the beautiful spectacle of the scrummage and the facets it throws up: namely the front-row union and their oft-denuded brethren, the boiler room boys. This was the last stand of the Titan Trio; Ray Allan at loose, Biscuit hooking and Nick Roper at tight, names carved in stone in the Ormskirk front-row union book. Being a boiler man you get to see/hear/feel the dark arts of front-rowdom. Today I saw/heard/felt these arts from my favourite 3 pain inducers and smiled. The scrum was our best weapon today and it was vintage, it didn’t win us the match but it was like a 1973 Chablis, expectation doesn’t always come to fruition, but this was the last time these 3 will play together with Biscuit retiring at the season’s end, ( unless Nick gets next Saturday off). I was there as they say, I will long remember Biscuit’s mid match rollicking of both Nick, Ray and the cowering forms of myself and Reece all because we lost one scrum! I can assure you the next scrum had a much different outcome which saw my legs dangling in the air such was the force we put in, it was quite spectacular, And to Ray, Nick and Brian, I say this, they wont get you, your part of the union, love it.

To all Lions; Uprising; The Lions home coming is next Saturday at Green Lane, a wounded Lion is a dangerous beast, an angry Taff and a wounded Lion means hell hath no fury, you have been warned.

Green Army!


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