Under 14s enjoy weekend of rugby

Posted by: Pat on Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Ormskirk travelled to West Lancashire’s Northern parishes this weekend to assist Tarleton with hosting Hemel Hempstead(Camelot)RFC who had travelled to the region to get away from the snow and to understandably get the chance to play some quality rugby! Hemel had played Tarleton on Saturday and a close game had shown that the visitors had travelled with a squad who were able to play the game whilst enjoying their rugby.

The first game on display was Ormskirk versus Hemel Hempstead.Ormskirk had used the opportunity to¬† trial most players in their secondary and developmental positions,allowing the coaches a look at squad flexibility,no kicking was the ‘Kirk rule of thumb pending a threat of car washing duties for the team! The two local teams provided the travellers from the still frozen South with a warm West Lancashire welcome.

The game was played with a fine spirit and was a very equal affair with both sides demonstrating their fine handling skills, it was clear that the Hemel game plan involved keeping the ball with the forwards whilst ‘Kirk used their back line with good effect. The half-back pairing of Jamie Griffiths and Graham Bishop worked well in spite of this being their first run out in either position. We also had first time centres in Tom Anderson and Jay Owens who showed off their powerful running prowess and tackled very well. It was from a pass down the back line that supplied the ball to Jay Owens and owing to his tackle-breaking run through the Hemel defence he scored under the posts. For the first time this year Adam Selfe stepped up and commandingly struck the extra points. However the guests who had all enjoyed a late night at Pontins in Southport were stirred and they fought back with their pack who picked up and drove deep into Ormskirk territory. Their No.8 took his chance and pushed his way over to score.

Half-time:  Ormskirk  7   Hemel Hempstead  5

The second half continued in the same vein and it was from a duplicate run by the Hemel No.8, this time from the 22¬†metre line, that the tourists took the lead. Mention should be made of the tireless effort by Andy Jones and Nick Winrow who worked hard at the breakdown to secure Ormskirk ball and Sam Elesedy who continued to tackle well throughout. Ormskirk almost took the lead with a tremendous run initially by Graham Bishop supported by Pat Lloyd and then by Pat himself,who continued to within only yards of the try line. At a later stage in the game a Rob Jones clearing kick out of the 22 brought a smile to the coaches’ faces with the prospect of cleaned and polished cars(hmmm!).A sterling effort was made by all.Changes were only made because of injuries sustained¬†in this game,this has shown that every player has now got a second position to fall back on and something else to watch in this season’s IRB 6 Nations.

Final sore:  Ormskirk  7   Hemel Hempstead  10

For the second game against local rivals Tarleton,Ormskirk made their changes and although the team was re-organised they were still missing key players in positions at 9,10 and 12. Ormskirk having run out clear winners from the last encounter started slowly after the re-shuffle. It was Tarleton who took the game to Ormskirk and with a ruck deep in in the Kirk 22 the ball spun out to Ryan,the loose head prop,hiding out in the centres to bulldoze his way through the Ormskirk defence to score close to the posts. The resulting conversion was neatly slotted over. Tarleton continued to put pressure on the Ormskirk back line preventing them from using their outstanding pace to break free. Tarleton then engineered another fine try going in at the corner increasing their lead to 12 points. At this point with ‘Kirk staring defeat in the face the coaches swapped scrum halves around giving Harry James an opportunity to provide for a more experienced base for this link position.This change allowed for ‘Kirk to join the work of the forwards to the flair of the backs. This seemed to have the desired effect as Rob Jones sweetly chipped through for Olly Hogan to be the first to react and to ground the ball for ‘Kirks first try. Adam Selfe with his confidence still high from his previous strike put over the conversion. Ormskirk were able to recycle the ball with a back row raid from Danny Holloran,Kyle Hoy and Craig Ennis and took the ball deep into Tarleton territory. The pressure was on. Tarleton made a good clearance kick although it went straight to Adam Selfe who had plenty to do,he caught the ball and backed himself in a sprint to the line scoring in the corner. His attempt at the conversion was pushed back by the wind. With the scores level both sides tried every effort to win the¬†match and even though the game continued to ebb and flow no one could find that bit extra to break the deadlock.

Final score:  Tarleton  12   Ormskirk  12

This was a good and full morning of rugby along with the opportunity to make new fiends.


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