I sought inspiration for a tactical game from "The Spy Who Loved Me", the giant "Jaws" being bested by the smaller man- James Bond...
Being probably the smallest side in Cheshire, we have to try different ways of winning games other than brute force, so we got our heads together with Q branch and talked tactics before the game.
1. Monty Weatherby
2. Christian Dolan
3. David Hanson-Isasi
4. Ollie Taylor
5. Harry Taylor
6. Joe Beckett
7. Tom Stock
8. Cameron Beech
9. Callum Darlington
10. Jordan Ravenscroft
11. Jake Meredith
12. Thomas Lea
13. James Parry
14. Oli Sorensen
15. Josh Brookes ©
Replacements: Freddie Godley, Cieren Leigh, Jack Bayes, James Moore, Alex Walker
Scorer(s): Tries: Oli Sorensen, Josh Brookes Con(s): Callum Darlington 1
With a Licence to Kill, we took to the game against Ellesmere with a gameplan. We had played Ellesmere earlier in the season, and knowing they are a big, quality side similar to Lymm, our opponents in the Cheshire Plate, we could test our mettle.
With Luke Pickles missing, we reshuffled the pack with a view to stopping their dangerman at 10, with James Parry in at centre and Jordan Ravenscroft at fly-half. Ollie and Harry Taylor were tasked with stopping “Bambi” in true Bond-style, and our forwards were given instructions on how to win line-outs against bigger sides.
Like most Bond plots, it didn’t go anything like to plan! After an excellent start, our forwards looked as though they would scare The Living Daylights out of Ellesmere, with some great rucking, but despite some strong tackling, especially from James Parry, we went behind to a score in the corner, as Ellesmere countered our plan, by moving the ball wide.
As in Moonraker, where Jaws was relentless in his pursuit of Bond, Ellesmere didn’t let us get out of sight, and despite territory being even, they kept moving the ball through hands in the backs, away from our big tacklers, and this paid off once more as they registered for a second score.
In a similar fashion to the Caldy game, we tried to fight back, rather than Live and Let Die, and again we were punished by their backs let loose like evil henchmen, directed by Blofeld to show no mercy. We tackled well, and our forwards didn’t take many steps backwards, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Thunderball rolling our way, as again we conceded to a score our wide.
0-15 down, and reeling, in true Bond-style we struck back, as our forwards got a rumble on, and raised down the pitch, Ellesmere conceded a penalty, so we took it quickly, and countered again, before deep into Ellesmere’s 22, Josh Brookes went clear, being caught before the line, he off-loaded to Oli Sorensen, who still had enough to do before slithering over the line for his maiden score.
From the ensuing kick-off, we grew in belief, and it looked like Goldeneye Josh Brookes would get his name on the scoresheet once again as we pressed forward, only to be hit on the counter-attack once again, for Ellesmere to score against the run of play before half-time.
Down, 5-22 at the interval, there was a Quantum of Silence (!) amongst the boys, as they didn’t deserve the scoreline in front of them.
From the re-start, Ellesmere showed their quality once again, as their talented fly-half headed into our 22, and broke with a View to a Kill, setting up another try for the visitors.
It has been commented over the last few seasons about our spirit within the squad, about our dogged determination, and Never Say Never Again attitude, and that was evident again today, as Josh Brookes again scored a wonderful solo try from deep. Skipping past 2 players, he then powered past the Ellesmere defence to reduce the deficit to 12-27, which would have been a fair score to end with.
But not willing to Live and Let Die, Ellesmere tore into us a bit, and despite some great tackles, added further to score, with us lying on the table with a laser between our legs, we remained defiant. “Do you expect us to talk?”, “No Mr. Bond…I expect you to die!”, was the cry, but we never gave in, and will Die Another Day, but You Only Live Twice, so we best get our act together for the Lymm game.
A final score of 12-49, was probably a slanted result on reflection, as we came out of the game feeling everyone had played fairly well. The forwards in particular, had an excellent day other than the line-outs, and the backs had a torrid time of things, but on the whole coped very well, against an excellent set of Ellesmere backs.
As a result of the forwards playing so well, we gave both Men of the Match awards to backs. Oli Sorensen had a stormer of a game, making tackles everywhere, capping it with a well taken try, and Josh Brookes revelled in the space given at full-back, but again was mostly employed defensively, but scored a great solo effort.
Work to do, and Q branch may have to visit the Casino Royale!