The Roundheads rocked up to York ready for for a good game with good friends. The atmosphere was somehow different, maybe it was the absence of pressure a league game entails or maybe just a sense of easiness around players that have joined us on the pitch as teammates before. Whatever it was, the weather reflected the spirits of the team: the day was fresh.
Waves of blue and yellow smashed into each other as the game began. The Templars were quick on their feet, but Roundheads had the size and the strength. Like lightning striking mountains, the yellows fended off each attack scoring several tries in quick succession but not without injury.
First blood to the Templars, Adam finishing the friendly sporting a blacked and bloodied eye. Studs and stern words flew on both sides as the stress started to show. The Templar’s pushed the Roundheads hard, forcing us to get the basics spot on, keeping the defensive line tight and up, supporting the ball carrier close and continuously.
Liam Sutherland was thrown in at the deep end: playing his first match as winger against the swift and speedy side in stripes. Players were put through their paces, and lacking sufficient subs, teammates carrying injuries picked up in this or previous games prolonged their play past the point of pain.
Many of the forwards were limping by the end, some before: Rich already carrying an injured leg made it onto the pitch in the final quarter to play with pride and passion for his brothers alongside Ben who returned to play with a recovering hamstring gaining a head injury in the process.
Try scorers for the Roundheads were: Jamie who seemed to part the Templars like Moses did the Red Sea, scoring his first try for the team. Polly who pushed his way through for his first. Adam was another first, getting his try despite his eye injury. Ash an experienced League player scored his first try in real rugby. And Nath, scored a try (far from his first for the team) with an epic run, catching the ball from the kick off and dodging his way down the pitch.
Unable to choose singular players, multiple men of the matches were awarded: Steven was a forward whose runs and passes and tackles were exemplary. Sam for amazing efforts defending his team. Morgan and Adam’s stamina gaining them both their second match awards in as many weeks.
Mark’s excellent efforts as scrum half cannot go without comment, it was his first start at 9 and his link play with Billy who moved to 10 helped assist the team to victory.
Honourable mention has to go to Cheryl, the teams first aider who put a shift in carrying water and medical supplies on and off the pitch, clocking up as many steps as the players at the same time as easing aches and injuries.
One can only apologise to readers for this account, which seems like a roll call of Roundheads players, and to the players not mentioned. The entire team should be proud. Not because we won, but because we found something that we had lost recently, an ability to play well for each other. If the Roundheads can claim to be proud, then it is a pride we share with the Templars. A team with great strength, greater spirit and the greatest sportsmanship.