Mass effect has three definitions: it is a name of a very popular Play station game and is a common topic in the Lions’ dressing room: it relates to a neurological disorder: it is the rate of cooling of a piece of steel which determines the properties resulting from the hardening and quenching process. It also means, get the Lions happy, get into their collective minds and find the positive switch, then after a short period of manipulation, watch the newly hardened 4th team massive put on arguably their best performance of the season, this is mass effect Lions’ style, this is their final tale of the season.
Chuck Palahniuk’s words above seem appropriate to the Lions, especially after last weeks’ appalling at best performance away at Trundlesville, Formby. A win against an organised, capable and wily New Brighton outfit did not seem likely, but as Alan Rees put the lads through the warm up, the static in the air started to crack through the squad, barely discernible at first, but by the time Simon Richmond had put us through our excellent no nonsense line-out drills and team runs, even those of shiny pate had hairs standing on end. Taff’s hair dryer blast in the changing room, which would have made Ferguson blush, notched up the charged particles even more, and by the time Joe Kendrick led the lads out for his final game for Ormskirk, even the 3oo Spartans were looking worried, THIS IS ORMSKIRK, my god you could taste the anticipation!
From the start, the Lions’ war machine took their counterparts to the cleaners in the scrums, but sloppy control at the back led to the Wirral men taking a cheeky 7-0 lead from a converted try. But the Lions used their set-piece advantage to mass effect to gain a foothold in the opposition half; subsequent phases saw the ball whiz through the hands, and as the Red Sea parted, Shafi James emerged like an angry Moses in a burst of magnificent running that Brighton had no answer to! Glover converts, 7 apiece.
The Lions’ star ascends as rucking becomes easy and passing becomes like a game of beach ball, but clever opponents know how to halt a good flow. Uncontested scrums due to an injury have to be observed. New Brighton start to improve asking all sorts of questions of the Lions. There is a saying, Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! They didn’t take a peep in my artillery room for sure, as the tactical substitution of Laney-Lane for Richmond, forever swung the game the way of the Lions.
Glover goes for a cheeky one and gets both try and conversion, fool me once, Shafi once again smashes his way to the line, fool me twice….. 19-7, a fair reflection of the game.
The 2nd half was a much tighter affair with the game taking on a midfield appearance with sporadic Lions’ sorties on their opponent’s line, bravely defended by New Brighton to be fair, and a silly error by Kirk in their opponents 22 led to an outrageous break-away try for the visitors despite Shafi’s meteoric chase back! Cue the expected mid-match Taffy rant! The Lions wake up, and the Taff/Dolcey mean-green-mauling-machine comes into mass effect. Like a Persian siege-engine, the Lions bump and grind up the pitch, Taff’s legs pumping, Dolcey smashing and bashing, and Compton stomping. Taff’s calf starts to creak, the captain thus spake, “score a try and I will go off”, the gods looked down and smiled, Zeus was pleased, catch, drive, smash and heave 8 men go a rumbling, Richmond makes good to Taff’s needs, Glover ices the cake, 26-12 as Laney-Lane come back on for Taff. New Brighton threaten to spoil the Lions’ party but Compton stomps, and the third time pays for all with great backing up by winger, Laney-lane, the Lions escape out of their own 22 to herald the final whistle of Mr. Richard Beveridge, a fine performance indeed sir.
Fool me once, shame on you, you wont get a second chance says Taff!
Awesome lads, and after last week eh! Dowling at full-back was a revelation; Grinch, (3 from 4 and a try), and Quirk were a right pain in the backside; Dolce showed the cards, Taff nodded and followed suit; Tam was Tam like, which is basically Tam! Compton stomped all game to great effect: The front-row triumvirate featuring soon-retiring prop, Biscuit, fit again Allan, (now known as save the best for last Allan), and the fiercely smirking singing prop, Broxton, were grim of visage because their toys had been taken away, New Brighton are now nursing a shot to their own foot! Self proclaimed greatest ever rugby player, Big Dog Richmond, yeah man, you were good, and that tackle! Robinson, so close mate, great all-round game though, Rees, Chesworth, the oldest wingers in town none past you, effort extraordinaire. Laney-Lane, with every match I see a rugby player developing, great effort, great attitude. Lions one and all.
And there were two star men. Joe Kendrick’s sublime performances at 9 was for me the best I have witnessed from him in all my matches with Kirk, it was as if Adam Kirk had returned and we all know how good he is. Joe’s control at the scrums and superb box kick selection was straight off the Taffy wish list. A great way to end your Ormskirk career mate, one for the scrap book.
And Shafi James once again shone super-nova like in a devastating performance that basically won the game for us. Maybe I could sum up your performance by standing, mouth agape in incredulous admiration, but Mrs.Taff summed up your performance in on word, wow!
The end of season party that followed certainly cannot be put into words bar one, awesome, that’s the way we Lions roll, though I will say, don’t drink with Compton!
8 months ago we were strangers, now we are brothers for life, I finish with the wonderful lyrics of Britpop aces, Pulp and their superb slightly altered chorus lyric to their tune, Do you remember the first time:
“Do you remember the first time?
Do you remember the worse time?
But you know we’ve changed so much since then
Sandbach 2 v Rossendale 2
See below photo of the Sandbach celebration after winning the Division 1 title and being promoted to the Premier League
The Raging Bull NW Leagues Cheshire Cakes Div 2 South Whitchurch 2nd XV 31 pts v 34 pts Broughton Park 3rd XV
An ecstatic Alan Marsland reports !!!!
2013-04-06 The Raging Bull NW Leagues Div. 4 North Wigan 3rd XV 36pts v 19 pts Vale of Lune 4th XV
A much tighter game than the score might suggest !!!
Some great pictures once again from Vales' Chief Phtographer Tony North !!
After losing 133 pts to Nil in recent game Vale keep the score in this, the only game today in the Leagues to only 96 pts.
Quote of the day " Steven Briggs Vale's scrum half - What was the score today Ref ?? Ref Shaun Mcglue " 96 pts to 3 pts !! Feels like a win Sir today !!! Thanks for a good game .
Vale come up against an efficient Wilmslow side !!!
Pictures by David Pyke Wilmslow !!!
(New Brighton 3)