Posted by: Monty on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012



It doesn’t hurt me.
Do you want to know how it feels?
Do you want to know that it doesn’t hurt me?
Do you want to know the deal that I’m making?
You, its you and me.

Kate Bush, Running up that hill, 1985

Now, the Grand Old Duke of York, got a right ear-bashing for pointlessly taking his men up and down some hill for no apparent reason, and as we strolled towards the pitch in pleasant early spring sunshine, his name instantly sprung to my mind along with that of Pythagoras and his mathematical theories when I saw the gently sloping pitch that reminded me of such places as Aberbeeg or Abertillery or even are you having a Aberlaugh on our behalf, from the valley’s of South Wales!!!! I guess the clue is in our opponents’ name.

Anyway, after subjecting the team to some defensive drills up said hill, (and back down again in a Duke fashion), the game kicked off down-field left of centre, to start off what was to be a rather entertaining and enjoyable tie, and the early exchanges proved that Hill may be league leaders, but Taff’s defensive drills proved to be worth the effort as all their early endeavour came to nought. The Lions also had a crack at the hill but they also were thwarted by some stout Hill defence. Fifteen minutes in, so far so good.

But finally Hill used their home knowledge to good effect by running the Lions up and down then back up that accursed slope to score a try in the top right-hand corner towards the house, (come on, keep up!), to take a 5-0 lead. Cue the Lions’ collapse? Not a chance! The next fifteen mins belonged to the Green men who should have scored more than the solitary Mike Moore try, however, white-line fever and solid home defence kept 14 man Hill, (one in the bin), in the game. Still, 5-5 we’re in a game here. But concentration must be kept, and the Lions failed to do this when after a quick tap-and-go by Hill, the obvious method was to go upwards right towards the house, leaving all Lions bar Taff scrambling up and after the ball-carrier who touched down practically top dead centre to extend the Hill lead to 12-5, (try converted), at the interval.

Insider knowledge is a wonderful thing, and Hill used the hill to great effect in part two, (it’s easier to play downwards left away from the house when you’re tired apparently. I concur!), but despite conceding another try to go 17-5 behind, the Green men had the lions’ share of possession and territory in the 2nd half, but just could not breach that solid defence, or even get up that flaming hill! And scrumaging proved to be difficult especially when Hill started to get the nudge on, (I’m positive those lads have legs of unequal length….), and they took advantage of a tiring Lions team to sneak two more converted scores to stretch away from the Lions 31-5. But Taff’s lads keep going till the end, and after many attempts, phases and downright tenacity, Michael Tamblyn crossed for a deserved score top dead centre to give the Lions just reward for a valiant effort. There was still time for some more Hill attacks, but the combination of Lions’ defence, knackered players and the hill stopped anymore scores and thankfully referee Phil Jones blew the whistle for two relieved teams to take a well earned rest, apart from the Lions’ massive having to abseil down the slope to retrieve their gear!

There were many great performances on the day. As usual backs, Glover, Robertson, Moore, (all the way from Bangor), Rees,(apart from one ambitious kick), Aggrey, Robinson, Ford, James and veteran out-side half/scrum-half Brennan, all played above and beyond the call of duty and I would be doing you all a dis-service by singling any one player out. And the forwards, props Stevenson and Roper both had excellent all-round games which had their opponents squealing! Richmond, Tamblyn and Compton again put in big performances, as did Farley and Dolce, (I sense a kinship here). Special praise goes to Nial O’Hagan for his 30 minute 1st half before injury, his subsequent early 2nd half 15 before going off again, and then his last 5 minutes at centre for the injured Shafi which belies his rugby inexperience, big performances indeed. Referee, Phil Jones was outstanding, and his superb running of the game was a massive contribution to the overall enjoyment. 10/10 Sir. And to Mossley Hill, the Lions to a man turn and face you and rattle their spears against shields in salute to you, warrior to warrior. Massive respect lads and good luck to you in division 4 next season.

Now I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone/something. Ah yes, the man of the match. Normally picked by the captain, but on this occasion picked by the team, apparently he had his finest game in a Lions’ shirt, apparently he led by example. Shouting and bawling like the demented Welshman he is, he apparently galvanised his troops and sped them on higher feats of derring-do, when actually all he did was run around a patch of grass, cajoling Lions, pestering Hill-men and generally enjoying himself as any normal 50 year old chap would do on a Saturday afternoon! However, one knows when one has done his best for one’s team, and I am genuinely touched that the boys saw fit to give me this accolade, and I can only say I will try even harder next week as a consequence of your generosity. Thank-you very much indeed.

Start with a song, finish with a song. Loser, the very much tongue- in-cheek 1993 hit from American Hip-hop/rock crossover singer Beck, sums up the Lions’ spirit of adventure this season. We started as losers maybe, but we now hold our collective heads up and compete with the best, and for some unknown reason, this song puts in my mind the joy and spontaneity that are the Lions:

I’m a driver, I’m a winner; things are gonna change, I can feel it.

Soy un perededor, Not!


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