OM AXV 10 – 12 Mill Hill 2s

Forget the scoreline! Saturday morning’s knocking on doors and pressganging of players meant that the game proceeded. Even the legendary John G, 2 weeks off the young age of 76 turned up to the party. Mill Hill rfc, for their part, raided old peoples homes and geriatric wards in order for this game to take place so despite the scoreline, it was well worth it!
In fact this game was all about returning legends! We reeled out Nashie and Duncan Beckman, who despite his callow youth, assertively reminded me that, apart from Nashie, he had been the longest serving member of the club on that day!- He is right of course! I remember his pre-Easy Jet afro hair!!! When I played my first ever game for Oms in 2008- Shocking I know! Another legend who played is the middle class prig of the century in Grunty Smith. Have you ever been abroad with this man-I have had the pleasure of sitting in a hotel foyer with him in Spain and him getting rather irritated when I order my routine diet coke and Mars bar in English while he is successfully fending off women from three different continents in three different languages including South Korean, Spanish and Russian. I tried to help him resist their advances by boring them about Oms rugby but these women were just loving it-and him! He is a better girl magnet than Jonno- If you want to pull, bring him with you and not Mike Griffin!
Sorry I’m digressing. Another returning legend was the unparalleled Fran Morris, a great friend to me, who was instrumental when I first set up this team 7 years ago. His rugby prowess has been described countless times by many a great club but it’s his presence and intelligence that makes his mark. We conceded two tries after an unfavourable exchange of ideas with the referee resulted in an opportunity for a 10 minute rest. In the bar afterwards Fran and referee Matt Linden peacefully resolved their philosophical disagreements as we all know that Fran is a lexicon of rugby quotations and the only player I have ever met who actually knows what these quotations actually mean.
On a theme of returning players, Alex Merody , who has played Oms rugby since our embryonic season in 2008 won champagne moment for finally breaking his hoodoo and scoring a try! He flatters to deceive. If you ever see him play any sport, especially football, he does all these dazzling ball skills, beats 3 -4 people but still ends up in the same place with no net gain. In rugby he calls himself a nearly man – Yes you did nearly score against the Japanese 2 seasons ago (Other readers –Don’t worry, I wont go on about someone who did actually score in that fixture as this has been written and talked about in the pubs and clubs of Hertfordshire and Farnborough but in case you have forgotten-OK I wont) , he kept on telling me that he would never score-WRONG!!!!! – Alex , you waited 7 years and your moment arrived. A missed pass by Fran followed by another from Duncan resulted in Alex receiving the ball out wide and beating the last man to score in the corner! Alex please big up your moment.
Paul Wyllie, with a new found confidence in his kicking game after that try ensuing chip kick against Pinner, couldn’t repeat the magic while trying to convert from the touchline. He still contributed on all the things he is good at – stealing ball on the floor, lineouts and motivational speaking. Other positives included the ever improving scrum with Seb providing the missing link at loose head. Its really working with Fraser and me in the Front row and gives me cause for optimism.
Another source of optimism is the emergence of Tom Leach who is better the noisier he gets. Won man of the match against the Japanese, he continued in that way with a co-man of the match award with his work rate, versatility and effort across the pitch. The more he talks, the more we all get to see how much rugby knowledge he has. The failure of the Mill Hill man of the match to accept his beer on account of an allergy to hops and wheat, created another vacancy for man of the match award and this was a close run battle between Rob Morris for his free-spirited positional play, creativity and running and Duncan ‘ I have been round Oms longer than Abe Simpson’ Beckman who shades the accolade for some excellent positional kicking which simultaneously relieved our defences whilst creating pressure on attack. Who wouldn’t love to get on a plane at Luton and hear his perfectly pitched ‘This is your captain speaking, welcoming you aboard our non stop flight to Bombay’
This game was played in a great spirit and was very enjoyable . I see it as 3 points gained rather than 2 points lost. It was very tight margins in terms of game management which determined the result. However, please reflect on the positives!

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