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It's a Number Game

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

Askeans 24 Old Beccehamians 59

Brian Clough once said

“If what happened in the match wasn’t important, they’d only print the results” (apologies for not doing the accent!)

He might have been talking about what happened at the Rectory Field last Saturday (presumably whilst annoying the ‘choir invisible’). Because of sudden work commitments, suspected covid and an Uber driver without Satnav (or even an A-Z) Askeans had to kick off with just 14 on the field against a side who had 15 plus several subs.

It should also be noted that they also had one bloke who would make that 22 stone French prop look undernourished.

Despite this we went 3-0 up, thanks to a penalty from Roddy. The game was evenly contested in midfield, with Becs full back – their Man of the Match, always posing a threat and scoring their first try.

Askeans responded well - An excellent kick and run from Roddy led to a penalty close to Becs line – Charlie King took a tap penalty and after several drives, Jack Henderson stretched out and scored.

Askeans attacking early in the 1st half

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Askeans were leading 10-7 and playing well but then the game turned.

As half time approached and we were still hoping that the Uber driver could read a map, Jack was given a yellow card for a (try saving) high tackle in the corner. (I was a lot closer than the ref and it didn’t look that high to me…still you know best dear.) To make matters worse, after their full back scored another try, Toby Setters pulled a hamstring in pursuit.

The Rectory Field boasts a large pitch, international matches were played there before Twickenham was built! It’s wide and difficult to defend with 14 players, with 12 it’s a bit King Canute like.

In the ten minutes that Jack was on the naughty chair, they scored 4 converted tries!

Not just 28 points but an exhausting time for the 13 minus one.

When Jack returned soon after half time, Becs had a substantial lead. We continued to play with enterprise but Becs scored without reply.

And then a most extraordinary thing happened. As play was about to resume after Becs latest try, the referee called the captains together ‘There are 22 minutes to go. Do you want to carry on?’ – Charlie was having none of it and the captains shook hands. It was like the last round of a Championship Boxing Match.

– And the extraordinary thing? From that moment on, Becs hardly got a look in and Askeans deservedly won the final quarter, by 2 tries to 1 – courtesy of Jack Henderson once more and Nial Ryan!

That final quarter speaks volumes for the resolve, resilience and spirit of Askeans players

Askeans score again in the final quarter!

and as Lewis Bainbridge said, ‘The last quarter was Askeans’ best rugby of the season!’

It was dark when the ref finally blowed for full time, perhaps he’s hoping for an Accurist for Christmas.

All 14 Askeans have to be commended for their efforts and should be proud of their determination and never give up spirit.

The Gallant 14

Oliver Stevens, Danny Walkden, Toby Setters, Henry Gillett, Ciaran O’Flynn,

Fionn Morrison, Charlie King, Jack Fiennes, Niall Ryan, James Roddy,

Lewis Bainbridge, Diarmuid Morrissey, Will Glendenning, Jack Henderson

· A special mention to our debutants, Oliver Stevens – excellently supported by his proud family – and Fionn Morrison.....

· And finally, skipper Charlie King and Lewis Bainbridge would like it mentioned that ‘They played A-may-zeeengly well.....(along with the rest of the team, of course!)

As Cloughy might have said, you need to read the report to find out what actually happened!

The bar was packed and there followed another great night…apart from watching the nonsense at Twickenham obviously.

Askeans Player of the Match Jack Henderson

Full marks to all those who played, supported and suffered watching the International!

There is a Pre-Christmas, Pre Match Buffet at the Rectory Field on Saturday 10th December from 1pm with the game v Weavering Warriors kicking off at 2pm.

A chance to meet up with old mates and remind them just how good you were back in the day (whilst trying to ignore their guffaws)

All welcome (except that Uber driver)

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