Honours Even in Under Eight Rumble
By Greg Whelan
The 'Few' faced the many as Heaton Moor arrived en masse early on Sunday morning at Old Bedians, fun in the sunshine soon followed!
What a great morning was had on Sunday with Didsbury Young Bedians!inviting Heaton Moor to a round of fixtures across age groups at our club, all bathed in beautiful winter sunshine.
Heaton Moor arrived, and boy did they arrive, some of them might have camped the night before, our pitches were swarming with Moorites even before our coaches arrived to set the pitches up at ten o'clock!
No panic though, we gave them space to run around whilst our parents and players arrived for the announced eleven o'clock start!
The DYB U8's amassed a squad of eleven upstanding gentlemen, Ben W, Ben C, James, Daniel, Danny, Ollie, Ross, Max, Sam, Johnnie and Jack.
Resplendent in their royal blue, it was decided Bedians would play two matches vs the visitors, eight per team..... Bede's had three subs to be rolled on and off... Heaton Moor had twenty five subs.... so they put two teams together and had a seperate group training too. Moor are a few years longer established than DYB and have less local competition in rugby terms but their success is a great blueprint for our future development!
It's fair to say that in game one, DYB met the elite of Moor's huge pool of players and after 16 mins of gametime Moor were ahead by only one score, a great tribute to the Old Bede's juniors squad at U8s who scored four tries of their own through Ben W, Ben C, Jack and James.
Moor took the spoils five tries to four but The Didsbury Young Bedians squad were determined to put that right in game two!
Between games DYB talked about making progress with ball in hand and not taking a step backwards! Would the lads respond?
In the second match, DYBs boys could have argued that they were tired and that they were facing a fresh Heaton Moor line up. Nonetheless, no complaint was offered and the team, with fabulous 'Go-Forward' from Danny (Man of the Match) who really took up the challenge, with Ben Whelan in revitalised 'jinking' form (having changed his boots for extra grip) and with Daniel, Max, Ben C and Johnnie taking the play to Heaton Moor, Bedians managed to take a slim margin of lead in the game, which they held on to at the last.
Many of the lads on either team came from the same school, St Winifred's in Heaton Mersey, so competition for the best performance and Monday Morning Bragging rights was rife. Tries of note in game two came from Jack O'Brien, James Hardern, Ben Craughwell and Ben Whelan.
All the fellas did a great job, it was good to see Johnnie back with us, Sam made a great debut, a good future prospect and Ross made some excellent runs as did Oliver. Liam and Michael were missed, it will be good to have them back in the squad soon
In both matches, Heaton Moor's lads did some fabulous running and have some good match winners in their ranks.
Where Bedians boys need to tighten up is in the defensive stakes, a few straightforward tags were missed and a few gaps were left open for too long enabling some easy unchallenged tries for Moor. In possession, one or two were repeatedly guilty of running across the pitch rather than going forwards even after prompts from the coaches (remember to listen to the coach guys!!!!) and there were a couple of episodes of Bedians running straight into touch and coughing up priceless posession! So... there's still lots to work on but with such a good squad, the U8s can work on all that in the next few weeks of training.
DYB's next fixture is away at Toc H in two weeks!
Thanks to all the support team this week! Gary, Sean, Ali and Francesca in the kitchen and clubhouse, Giles on the pitch and all the dad's and mums for continued support See you next week Old Bedian's Boys!