Whitchurch B [ 1-6 ] Bristol & West 2s
As the fixture schedule for 2020 continues to throw up a string of trips to the Principality, the men's 2s once again ventured over the bridge to bring home maximum points against 4th placed Whitchurch B.
The day got off to a questionable start when your friend and humble narrator received a message from the Women's 2s captain to inform him that his playing shirt was sitting in the washing basket at home! In the stick bag was a nailed-on D.O.D award in the form of a slim fitting and slightly cropped ladies shirt, displaying just enough additional bicep and midriff to get the testosterone pumping in the changing rooms before push-back.
Under the unique soundscape of Whitchurch's screaming seagulls blaring over the tannoy, the Men's 2s got off to a typically blistering start. The opening 10 minutes was played almost exclusively in the opponents half and it wasn't long before the boys in orange were rewarded with two penalty corners both dispatched by Dan Lusmore.
In signature form, the 2s smelled blood and moved for the kill. A 10 minute spell saw passing moves finished off by Phil "Up the Browner" Brown and a brace from veteran striker Josh Tester. When Tom "Lethal From a Yard Out" Varney scored from a yard out, everything seemed to be going to script: 0-6.
However, when engaged in a title challenge, things rarely run without incident. The final minutes of the half saw a harsh green card given to Man of the Match Andy "Platty" Platts shortly followed by a penalty flick given for some goal-line football from Josh "Squashie" De Witt. The flick found the bottom corner and was exuberantly celebrated by Whitchurch who went into halftime with their tales up.
For the second game in a row, the second period proved to be a relatively uneventful affair as the team was unable to add to their halftime scoreline. Further cards followed for a stick tackle by Lusmore and a trademark arse-obstruction from Si "The Rump" Barrett, with the half to be punctuated by a second penalty flick. Unable to take advantage of a flurry of short corners, the home team were given a helping hand by the Welsh umpires with a flick awarded for nothing in particular. Enter returning keeper Rich "RJ" Johnson who wasn't to be beaten for a second time from the spot, reading the striker to pull off a save low to his right. These heroics between the sticks drained any momentum that had been building for the Welsh side and the match ended 1-6.
Any disappointment for once again failing to add to the half-time scoreline was soon forgotten as news filtered through of a fantastic performance by our 3rd team club-mates. Their victory not only speaks to their developing talent, but served to widen the gap between the 2s and 3rd placed Gloucester in the race for promotion.
Man of the Match: Andy Platts (for an outstanding performance at left-back).
Written by D.O.D.: Joe John (for playing the match in his fiancée's clothes!).