Mine's a Double Please Landlord – of MadDog 20/20
Stroud U14s power past Old Pats “A” to record the Double
It was a re-match of the classic County Cup quarter final that Stroud had narrowly won 24-20 at home 1 month ago. The trip to Cheltenham was rewarded with a bright sunny day, a thawing pitch, and an Old Pats “A” team intent on revenge.
Warm-ups were chaotic. Dropped passes. Keyan trying drop goals and just missing the adjacent gardens (one missed conversion kick last week and he thinks he’s now a #10!). The kids ran onto the pitch with the prophetic words “Keyan – no need to kick – remember you’re a forward” ringing in their ears.
Forwards: Lucas, Orgy, Liam, Mr T, Darrion, HP, Laurie, Stoner
Backs: Hilly, Will, Dave, Keyan, Josh, Billy, Alex
Subs: Jedd, Callum, Flash, Nibbler, Euan, Haydn, Ryan
Stroud were going to up against it in the first half – uphill, wind against, winter sun in the eyes. Could Old Pats use it to their advantage?
Pats kicked off and Liam did well to control a difficult kick. A few rucks were met with stiff Pats resistance and they were awarded a penalty for holding onto the ball which they duly kicked for the corner. They won their short lineout and went blind and scored in the corner for a 5-0 lead (kick missed).
Stroud kicked off and Pats knocked on. Stroud won their scrum and attacked left and Dave broke the line and scored under the posts to give Will an easy conversion and a Stroud 7-5 lead.
Pats kicked off and again Stroud were penalised at the 1st breakdown and this time Pats kicked a penalty in front of the posts to re-take the lead at 8-7.
The supporters were still shuffling for warmth – Emperor penguin style – so half of them had missed the fast start by both teams – but both sets of fans were now fully focused on an engaging game of rugby.
Stroud kicked off and the game settled down into a battle of the breakdown. Stroud forced a turnover but couldn’t capitalise. Pats had a scrum restart that they swiftly attacked left from and looked to be close to scoring but Alex put in a typical full back tackle and snuffed out the threat. Pats were not to be denied though and quickly recycled the ball to the right and kicked for the corner but Josh did well under big pressure to shepherd the ball into touch. Pats won their lineout but Lucas did well in the maul to win Stroud a penalty and Will kicked for touch. Mr T caught the accurate Orgy throw-in and Stroud setup a driving maul, but Pats managed to turn it over and attack themselves to the left and right and make good ground. This time Billy was there with a strong tackle and forced the player into touch.
Stroud won their lineout on their 5 yard line but again Pats forced a turnover. They improvised again and kicked for the try area, but this time the ball went dead. Stroud had a 22 drop out and Will kicked long. Pats attacked back at pace and again swerved down the left flank, but again another shuddering Alex tackle knocked the Pats player into next week, and also touch. Stroud won their lineout and again Will was forced to kick long into the stiff breeze. Pats had learnt their lesson that “left wasn’t best”, and decided to attack the right flank, but again they kicked too long and Stroud let the ball go dead.
Another 22 drop out and again Pats attacked back but great play in the breakdown from Laurie and Stoner won the turnover. Will ran the ball out and broke the line. He then kicked over the full back and managed to recover his own kick. He was smothered on the ground but good support from Laurie and Darrion secured the ball. Sauce had a good run and the forwards showed their strength by doing some more Rhino’s to threaten the line. Stroud were awarded a scrum which they duly won and Hilly spotted the opening and a great pass to the right then opened up the backs to attack and Billy cut back inside to dive over for the 2nd Stroud try. Will put in a fab kick from wide to make it 14-8.
Pats kick-off was straight out so Stroud had a scrum on half-way. Another strong push gave clean ball to Hilly and he expertly switched the attack to the left. Will made some ground and then showed great technique to put a gruber kick in behind the Pats winger. Who should be next there but Keyan. The ball was bobbling so with the immortal words “don’t kick Keyan” still at the forefront of his mind he decided to teach us all a lesson with an expert hack kick down the line. And to make it even better the ball bounced up perfectly into his hands at full stride and he finished off the superb move with a swallow dive into the left corner. Everyone congratulated Keyan for his football skills – even the coaching staff begrudgingly….. who once again had been proved wrong that Keyan can kick in a game….. Score now 19-8 to Stroud (kick missed).
Pats kicked off and Stroud knocked on with the low sun causing problems. Stroud won a monster scrum against the head though with a great shove and expert hooking by Orgy. It was all wasted though with a knock-on at the next attack. Another Pats scrum and another dominant drive by Stroud’s forwards, but Pats did well to retain the ball. They attacked through their backs but Stroud forced another turnover and then won a penalty that Will kicked long for touch. This time Laurie caught the line-out ball cleanly and set up a driving maul – these Stroud forwards were showing expertise in all areas of play and setting up a great attacking platform for the backs to exploit.
Ball out to Will, into contact, Jedd and Stoner securing the ruck, Robin pass to Batman, and then the inevitable. Crash, Bang, Wallop!! Kapow!! Holy Cow!! Pats players went flying in all directions as Batman ran through, over and around the Pats players that were sprawled over the pitch. Batman aka Dave then had the good sense to run it under the posts for an easy conversion. Who was first to congratulate him? It was his partner in crime Robin – aka Hilly. Stroud had stretched their lead to 26-8. Holy Mackerel - how good could they get in the 2nd half when playing downhill? Holy Retro – how many more old fashioned comments could the match reporter fit into the remainder of this report?
Pats kicked off and Stroud paid the price for letting the ball bounce around with a silly knock-on. Pats again did well to win their scrum under immense pressure from the Stroud pack. They attacked right but Josh put in a good tackle and Pats were penalised at the breakdown. Will kicked for touch and this time Jedd showed expert handling to jump and catch the ball. Refraining from his basketball phrases he instead shouted “drive, drive” and Stroud made another 5 yards. The ball came out to Will and he gave the perfect crash ball pass to Dave who broke the line. The pats full back was brave to drag him down, but it didn’t matter as Keyan was right on the shoulder to take the off-load. Just as we thought we were nailed on for another try the Pats players chased down Keyan and tackled him. Pats were certainly not backing down from the strong Stroud challenge. Pats then won the turnover and kicked low – but straight to Euan who handled it well. Another ruck. Another Liam barnstorming run. Lucas and Sauce securing the ball. Now Jedd piling forward at pace. Orgy and Stoner on the clearout. Quick Hilly hands out to the backs and as another try beckoned an unfortunate bad pass and the ball went dead as the half time whistle went.
Half Time: Old Pats 8 – 26 Stroud
Stroud re-grouped and well earned substitutions were made. The subs coats were proving very popular on this bitter day. The hard bit had been done we thought with the easier downhill half to play – how wrong we were proved to be.
Stroud kicked off and Pats ran the ball back with great intensity – their coaches half time talk had certainly worked. Pats worked the ball left and right – each time they were met with strong tackles from wingers Billy and Nibbler. They changed it up to the forwards and Lucas then smashed them back. Pats were doing well to keep it alive through many phases. Each time they made 10 yards and then lost 2 or 3 as a great defensive tackle forced them back again. Stroud's discipline was excellent to compete at the breakdown and commit Pats players to secure the ball, but not give away penalties.
Pats were working their way closer and closer to the Stroud try line – but this just meant Stroud’s defensive efforts went up more notches to keep them out. Callum, Euan and Haydn were at the forefront of the defensive stand, with Stoner and Darrion providing punishing tackles as well. Minutes passed and still the try-line stalemate ensued. Eventually Stroud were penalised and Pats won their line-out. They set up a driving maul but Darrion showed immense strength to rip the ball out of Pats possession and then drive forward. As well as gaining 5 yards through pure power he then gave Will a chance to kick for touch. Magnificent effort from our 2nd rower. But all the 2nd rowers were having storming games in all phases of the game so competition to win a starting shirt is driving everyone to higher levels.
Pats won their lineout and attacked right. 1 missed tackle later they had forced their way over for a well deserved try. It had taken 10 minutes to score, and had drained a lot from both teams, but it showed Pats were back in the game and ready for a 2nd half comeback. Kick was made to close to 26-15.
Stroud kicked off and Pats ran it back – into a thumping Lucas tackle – and subsequent knock-on. Stroud won their scrum easily and attacked right but Pats were awarded a penalty. They kicked low and hard for touch – but goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar was there with an amazing diving save to keep the ball in play. To celebrate he went to roll the ball out to his Liverpool left back – but then realised this was a knock-on so Pats were given a scrum. Who was this Grobbelaar kid I hear you ask? None other then captain Will – who had never heard of this 80’s legend goalie, and instead claimed it was some new fangled kid called David De Gea.
Pats won their scrum but Keyan was quick up to steal the ball in the tackle. Stroud attacked but Pats forced their own turnover. They rumbled back at Stroud but Darrion was waiting with his bucket sized hands. He prised the ball away from the Pats forward and they spun around like a whirligig (more 80’s references kids – who needs smartphones to keep yourselves entertained). Darrion won the battle and the ball came back to Will who kicked long. Dave chased after it and hacked on but the ball squirmed out of play – probably to the echo of Keyan saying “leave the kicking to the experts – like me….”
Pats won their lineout and slowly made their way up the pitch – slowed by tackles from Ryan, Sauce and Mr T. They managed to spread it out left but Darion closed down the angle and put in a strong tackle to force them into touch. It was all for nothing though as the ball was called back for a Pats penalty. They expertly kicked long for touch and won their lineout on the 5 yard line. They went blind again, but Nibbler stopped them short. Pats weren’t to be denied though and forced their way over for another try. The kick from wide was missed and the score was now 26-20 to Stroud – it really was a rerun of the earlier game at Fromehall and an Old Pats comeback.
Captain Will had gone Grobbelaar crazy and was playing upto the crowd. He tried a new kick-off technique and ended up on his backside as the ball travelled sideways for 20 yards, but only forward 1 yard. Back for a Pats scrum on the half. Stroud’s pack still shoved them backwards 3 yards, but had to stop for safety reasons. Pats attacked and Nibbler nailed their winger. Pats then attacked left and back to the right. This time they kicked for the gap but Nibbler was there to catch the ball – but get forced out of play for his efforts.
Pats threw their lineout long and missed everyone and Stroud were unlucky to knock it on in their efforts to secure the ball. Pats won their scrum – again being forced backwards at 10mph. The ball came out to their backs but quick defensive pressure forced the ball to go to ground and Flash bravely dived on it. He then managed to pass it upto Dave who scampered down the right wing and dived over for a pressure relieving try. Kick was missed but Stroud had stretched their lead to 31-20.
Pats kicked off and Euan took on the run-back responsibility. Pats were penalised and Will kicked for touch. Darrion continued his excellent 2nd half with a great jumping line-out catch. The ball came out to the backs and Keyan smashed his way through but was stopped in the 22. The forwards took over with Rhino’s to keep the pressure on Pats. They succumbed with a penalty that Dave took quickly. He was quickly closed down but it just gave Will space to attack. He gruber kicked through, but unlike the lucky Scotsman vs England (I’m not bitter!), the ball kept low and he spilled it forward as a try under the posts beckoned.
The full time whistle went and an entertaining game had finished up to Stroud’s advantage again. Stroud had done the double - home and away - over one of the strongest teams in the County.
Full Time: Old Pats 20 – 31 Stroud
Full credit to Old Pats for putting on such a strong show in the 2nd half to come back and give Stroud a fright, but equally it was Stroud’s ability to absorb the pressure at the start of the 1st and 2nd halves that gave them the platform to then go on and show what an attacking force they are. The backs scored the tries but the work of the forwards was amazing – fantastic power in the scrimmaging, leaping catches in the lineouts and all round combativeness at the breakdown to give the backs the space to work their magic.
The kids went off to munch the Brownies and try on the tour match shirts. Lucas tried to ask for number 13 - but that would have scared the opposition too much to see him running out with that shirt number so we forced him back to #1. Should have gone for 1/3 as he can alternate propping on both sides - and get the 13 on his back he so wanted. The kids were even organised enough to cover all numbers from 1 to 15. Got quite a few duplicates - but that shows the strength of depth we have in all positions as kids fight to get in the starting line-up.
Special mention for injured Arthur for still showing his support for the team by travelling over to watch the game – or was it that he doesn’t trust my match reports and needed to see it first hand. I’ll have to YouTube stream it in the future…..
So why the retro comments throughout the report? Kids - use You Tube to look them up - you'll find them funny - well they were in the 80's when the parents had nothing else to entertain us......
It’s all to support the headline “Mines a Double Please Landlord – of MadDog 20/20” - that the kids won’t have a clue about. MadDog 20/20 was a special flavoured ‘lemonade’ that Mum and Dad used to drink before they went to the pub and had more ‘lemonade’. This was in the 80’s and 90’s (and perhaps a few years earlier for 1 or 2 of us – no names mentioned). This was also the last time that Scotland beat England at a rugby match (I’m still bitter), and Gloucester Rugby didn’t lose twice in a season to Wasps. The good old times when 20/20 got us through a weekend…..or started Tori and the rugby Mum's drinking session this Friday. Old Pats scored 20 points at Stroud, and 20 points at home. So they too are the 20/20 bunch as well. Cryptic I know……
We all retreated home to warm-up, and prepare for the big County Cup semi-final at home vs Minch next weekend. Keyan has specific instructions to not do anymore kicking in the match, unless he can guarantee a Johnny Sexton 50 yard drop goal to beat Minch in the last minute. If you’re not confident Keyan just pass it back to Will and he’ll nail it from anywhere on the pitch – just ask Cinderford……