The Matches - Inspired Captaincy

Playing ??? on Pitch 4 in ??? we had Tim Haley as captain. The rain relentless all week had relented sufficiently for the pitch to be declared playable but it was doing its best to revert to its original function as a duck farm.

The game was nip and tuck throughout and 29 players had been reduced to almost indistinguishable mud men. The Strollers’ right wing was a shining exception with his kit immaculate he looked like the child in the Persil advert. Tim myopically looking up from the scrum was puzzled. Was he just not involved or as the youngest Stroller was he fulfilling the rôle of nominated runner and almost walking on water and gliding over the rising duck s..t?

As time ran out and we were just behind Tim got more and more exasperated and said wing became focus of his ire. A few choice words may have been uttered but what choice did Tim have? The only substitute was the antithesis of the Persil youth; Max in his pre-cycling days doing an imitation of a rotund ball bursting out of his shorts. Needs must be so Tim brought Max on to the incredulity of Persil youth who flounced straight off to the changing rooms. The opposition wing couldn’t believe his luck. Instead of the classic winger, a gilded youth with an inspired finishing touch he was faced with a roly-poly dugout who clearly couldn’t even make the starting line-up and was being brought on as an act of charity.

Scrum to Strollers 15 yards out from their try line and to right hand side of pitch. Les Bray at scrum half breaks blind but too late realises he only has Max outside him. No choice he passes just before he is caught and Max who has generated full Strolling pace catches. 10 yards to go with wing and full back converging on him. Why did Tim send Persil youth off? It would have been milk and drink to a finisher of his calibre (or so he would have us believe) and a couple of shimmies would have seen him in at the corner. Can Max emulate this? No so down goes his head and in a splendid imitation of little brother Brent he just charges on straight through wing and full back and scores the winning try.

Tim’s inspired captaincy is hailed but it is not clear to this day whether Persil youth has ever spoken to him again.