Posted by: Monty on Monday, March 12th, 2012

MARCH 10TH 2012

“Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.”
John of Sailsbury, 1159
Empirically you have to say things have improved substantially since last we met Eagle on the field. The 71-14 reverse last November was a game of two halves and the beginning of the new Lions which stats will confirm. This game was once again a two- half affair and had a lot to do about belief and self realization, it was an enthralling, no-holds-barred game of rugby with banter and no little skill shown by both sides.
Eagle came to play and showed their early intent by releasing their prodigious number 10 on mazy runs backed up by good support play, but the Lions would have none of it as the game stayed centre field. But you have to be on your mark when facing fast danger men, and Eagle, to their credit, capitalized on loose Lions’ tackling that allowed them to add 3 tries and 2 conversions to an early penalty to take a 22-0 lead approaching half-time! It was hard on the Lions but that’s the price you pay for non-diligence. But as ever the Green men stuck at it and got their just rewards just before the interval from a Dan Baillie penalty, and should have got more as they piled on the pressure to end the half dominant over a tiring Eagle effort. A malfunctioning line-out and silly mistakes in the loose put pay to that, (the perfect leech ball by Farley and Taff deserved more than the penalty against the Welshman for perceived holding on!), however……..
The Lions started part 2 confident of a turn-around with the sun and wind at their backs but once again a silly lapse at a scrum allowed Eagle to gain a crucial early try and conversion which was not to the liking of Lions hooker Chris Parlour, who let us know of his disgust ably, backed up by vociferous number 8 Simon Richmond! We had been told- we started to listen.
The Lions started to gain the ascendancy. Suddenly the minds switched on and the text-book moves started to come along with some brilliant back-play by James, Glover and Baillie, with the support of the usual suspects, Taff, Farley, Tamblyn and Richmond, not forgetting the calming influence of ever-professional Parlour and the rasping words of prop Broxton. Baillie jnr crossed for a well taken try after a sustained period of pressure that got the Lions back to 29-10, and this was followed up by a lesson learned from last wk when at a breakdown close to the Eagle line, Taff scooped the ball up to fellow 2nd row Farley whose clever feed to the backs saw Glover cross for another try, (10 this season), converted by Baillie! 29-17 was, I thought, a respectable score as time was running out-things were about to get a whole lot more exciting.
The Lions once more surge into Eagle territory, James is like a whirling dervish, Baillie senior pops a coin into the juke box, selects Cher’s hit, If I could Turn Back Time, and goes on a run extraordinaire, Critchley is held up short, more attacks from the Lions, more silly errors scuttling the attacks, more harsh words from Broxton, Richmond, Parlour, no Lions’ score, Until………
Forget structure, forget game plans, play it off the cuff, smile like you mean it in a Killers’ song, set Shafi up 30 metres out and watch him go into threshing mode! Cue Lions’ euphoria as the try is converted! We came back well, heads held high. Why is Taffy shouting like a demented fool? What? Its only 24-29? 4 minutes plus injury time? We can still win? Yes you can, are you deaf? Cue 4 minutes of Lions’ Bedlam and tight Eagle defence. Last play, off goes Tam on a run to the words of Richmond, ‘run my little Welsh friend run!’, but Eagle stay strong to secure the victory, the Lions bloodied but unbowed step from the arena, the synopsis is as follows:
Its all about belief and quite frankly the Lions didn’t have it in their hearts in the first half, slowly but surely it came, and when it did they were an unstoppable force. 3-22 at half-time to 24-29 full-time says it all. 21-7 to the Lions in the 2nd half and to my mind the best rugby of the day, but a game is 80 mins not 40, remember that Lions, start believing in yourselves as your captain believes in you!
The days’ heroes: Broxton, (played to a standstill), Parlour, Richmond, Quirk, (played to a standstill, literally), Baillie snr, Baillie jnr, (11 points for the Lions, 5 points and an assist for the 2nds), Farley, Glover, Tamblyn, with great cameos from Ford, (10 mins will become 80), Dowling, (best and longest 7 minutes in Kirk history), Rees and Robinson both continue to improve and deserve their starting places, Prince Aggrey always gives his all and doesn’t let the side down, and all the rest of you big cats, good effort.
Star of the show, Shafi James. I’m searching my mind for an extended paragraph to portray your efforts and the value as a player of the team, to your untutored rugby skill and general excitement you bring to Ormskirk’s fields, alas I can only find one word said twice, brilliant, brilliant! I hope this word is a big enough for you big man. Shafi James, man of the match, well done the Brighton basher.
Standing on the shoulders of giants is an accolade I justly bestow on the team. If like me you noticed the sizable crowd watching you yesterday, you should realize just how much our exploits are being regarded at the club. I even noticed a few faces from the back room roaring us on, and getting them out of their sanctum is no mean feat. There are ex-players at the club now looking at their old battered boots thinking there is still one last hurrah left. The fourth team has always been held in high esteem apart from recent years. You have changed that. This season will go down in club history as a red letter one for the 4ths, read the above quote again, take it to your hearts and ready yourself for the next battle we will fight together.
Time for your captain to play Don’t fear the Reaper again, and smile to his hearts content.

Green Army!


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