Battered, Bruised, Muddied and still smiling
Bedians play Marple in tightly fought encounter
With the 3s it is often feast or famine when it comes to player selection. This was one of the lean weeks however it was pleasing to see some of the shining stars of the 3s being rightly rewarded for their performances and playing for the 3s. Without stalwarts Jonathon 'Szechuan Jon' Gander, Dee, Richie Swailes, Chris Knight and Ben Sutton there was still a core of 3s players with Anthony 'Catty' Hargreaves, Tom Pritchard, Michael 'Aussie Mick' Butler, Jono Hill, Eugene Henry, the irrepressibly enthusiastic Ben 'Dougal' Steers and Ryan 'Babybellboa' Donald (Captain Fantastic). These 3s regulars were joined by Dave 'Big Dave' Clark, Tom 'Tom Thumb' Fuller, debutante Guy Shaw and Richie Bray making the long trip from local rivals Toc H to play with us for the day (Much appreciated, always good to have you).
With a grand total of 11 players it looked likely it could have been a tough day in the office however Marple wanted a fun game and lent us 3 very good players, fitting in at scrum half and on both flanks of the scrum. A game of rugby was ready to be played, albeit with uncontested scrums.
While not the highest quality rugby ever seen, with plenty of knock-on's by both sides leading to numerous restarts in play. This was partly dictated by the slippy conditions. Neither side were intimidated though and a furious exchange commenced with both sides looking to play quick rugby. It was to Bedians that the first blood fell. Several phases resulting in a ruck right on the Marple try line before being driven over by two players in Bedians colours (they were Marple players).
Upon restart Marple made it slightly into the Bedian half before an infringement gave a penalty to Marple, at around 35/40 metres out this is usually punted to touch at this level. However the Marple kicker is made of sterner stuff and duly slotted the points to the surprise of everyone.
With play streaming back and forth up and down the pitch it both teams were playing with ambition with slick moves only undone by unnecessary offloads on the part of bedians and knock-on's affecting both teams.
At the half time whistle Marple had scored a further try with the score resting at 10-5 in Marple's favour. Talk at half time centred on cutting out offloads and keeping the intensity which was bringing rewards in both attack and defence. Marple unfortunately started off stronger and scored a push over try from a line-out early on. Bedians regrouped and started to put some phases together. Eventually scoring their final try of the game. 17-10 in Marples favour.
The final try of the game did go to Marple with the last play, with Bedians looking to score a try to draw the game some strong running allowed Bedians to make progress into Marple's half. However it wasn't to be with a turnover followed by several phases of steady play Marple eventually worked the overlap to a nice score in the corner. Final score 24-10. This is a fairly wide points difference for what was an even game until the last moments a much fairer outcome is the one I prefer three tries for Marple to two for Bedians.
An encouraging game for the 3s; playing one man down for the entire game, two men down for parts of the first half and most of the second due to injury and playing the last five minutes three men down as Captain Fantastic Babybellboa decided to re-arrange someones knee with his face. The intent is there and a bit more understanding of each other (and maybe some of the laws of the game) will see another victory for the 3s.
With the 3s hosting Bury next week it is time to put your hand up for availability.