Ormskirk Rugby Under-13s taking on Trafford
THE ODDS were seemingly stacked against the Ormskirk under 13s as they came up against the might of Trafford MV.
The usual starting forwards were absent, James Mc, Matty, Jack and Tom G all being away.
There were two untried players making their debuts, two players injured during the warm up, the team were, bizarrely short of forwards meaning some of the backs were having to play out of their usual comfort zone and, to top it all, half of the Trafford team were U14s to make up for their 13s lack of players.
Did that mean they were playing down or Ormskirk were playing up? Judging by the outcome, the latter apparently.
Alex G got the game underway and kicked deep into the Trafford half.
Immediately Kirk were under pressure. Trafford used their big forwards to great effect, powering down the pitch and bringing them to within an ace of the tryline. All Kirk’s fears were coming home to roost.
There was despondency on the sidelines among the subs. The game had disaster written all over it.
The cry should have been ‘don’t panic’ though. Respite came in the form of a scrum. Kirk put in and was kicked up field by Alex and chased by the pacy backs.
A second scrum ensued this time at half way. Once again Kirk came up with the ball, Aidan L broke free, shook off two defenders and ran in supported by Joe D.
The tide had turned. For the rest of the first half all of the traffic in Trafford was one-way.
The forwards had stepped up to the challenge and were acquitting themselves with honour; James S and Luke M particularly upping their game.
Kirk’s pack dominated the scrum even against the much bigger Trafford pack and the pace of the backs proved to be too much for the Trafford boys.
Trafford turned the ball over after the kick off and once again were threatening the 22.
Alex G ripped the ball though and Kirk were off, his cross field run released Cameron E who carried the ball deep into Trafford territory before being bundled into touch. Kirk won the lineout against the head and powerful runs from James S and Joe C tok them ever closer to a second try.
Sadly the ball bobbled loose in a tackle and Trafford were awarded a scrum.
Trafford elected to kick into the waiting arms of Marcus L.
Marcus ran in and linked with the two new players for the second try. Marcus offloaded to Gabriel R, Gabe offloaded to Louis H and Louis ran in to score. Dominic S stepped up to score the extras and take the score to 0-12.
Try three again came through the awesome running of the backs.
The restart was passed to Marcus L and he powered from the 22 to slipping through tackles like an eel. He was finally reeled in about 10 metres out but a simple offload to Dominic, who had been tracking him all the way, gave Dom a simple run in to score his first, long awaited, try for the squad.
The restart was almost a carbon copy of try three.
The ball came to Marcus and this time, supported by Louis, he made it to the Trafford 5 metre line before being bundled into touch.
The ball fell to Trafford, but Aidan L (playing flanker) drove through the ruck, stole the ball and grounded it for try number four. Kirk’s most prolific try scorer scoring his most uncharacteristic try (to date) and the world’s worst cameraman once again cursing himself for missing it.
The conversion was missed and the ref blew for half-time; 0-22.
There was some determination from Trafford in the second half. Trafford were going to score and nothing was going to stop them.
One of their huge forwards received the ball and powered down the pitch towards the try line. Kirk’s defence held up deep in the half, but it seemed Trafford had a new lease on life and kept the pressure up.
Decisions went their way and, despite spirited defence, they managed to power through with a converted try and take the score to 7-22.
Kirk’s backs combined again to take the game out of Trafford’s reach though.
With the forwards winning the ball deep in the Trafford half, the ball went from Cameron to Alex to Dom to Joe each making short darts with Joe finally crossing the line and claiming the extras 7-29.
Trafford did manage to score two more trys to take the final score to 19-29, but this flattered Trafford. Two further Ormskirk trys were missed.
Both Andrew H and Cameron E crossed the line and both fell foul of the line markings.
Andrew failing to realise he’d crossed the line and Cameron running off the back of the pitch just before the final whistle blew.
All of this puts Kirk in good stead for the two toughest matches of the season coming next.
First up a friendly against Fylde, winners of last season’s Festival Cup and top seeds for the Blacksticks Blue Junior Challenge.
Fast on their heels are Warrington, runners up in last season’s Festival Cup and top seed in the group.
Luke M was Ormskirk’s man of the match.