Under the Overs (memorial game thoughts)

Under the Overs (memorial game thoughts)

Last Saturday (18th March) Frant Road hosted one of the most highly anticipated days of the club calendar year; the Under 30s vs Over 30s club match. The match is held annually in memory of Ann Towers.  Ann is remembered for her unassuming dedication to the wellbeing of the club, the best roast potatoes (don’t tell my mum) and was someone who freely welcomed everyone regardless of their background, nicely representing one of Streatham-Croydon’s core values; inclusiveness. This inclusiveness brings players back to the club from all over the country and sometimes the world even if it’s just for 5 minutes in the scrum or 5 pints (hours) at the bar.

“surreptitious swigs from side-line pints”

For the 2017 version of the match, we had an Irish contingent of friends and family of Ian Maxwell; another club stalwart, who sadly passed his last ball in the previous season, and they came to enjoy the day and watch Ireland spoil the English party at the Six Nations. The day was mild, the beer was flowing and the crowd was one of the largest all season bordered by old boys who were hastily putting on their boots after a last-minute change of heart. The supporters’ numbers were also bolstered by the women’s team eagerly awaiting the day they will have aged enough to field a full over 30s XV. On one side of the 1st team pitch the youthful under 30s wore dashing pink and blue jerseys, which hadn’t been washed since the last Unders vs Overs game and smelt like it too. Whereas on the other side in fresh Streatham shirts coloured gold and cardinal red (plus a few custom shirts built for larger waistlines) the Overs lined up and they meant business.

“Abdul’s signature turn and pop soon became a key playmaker move.”

From the off the Overs ran powerful crash balls utilising Pete Towers’ accurate passes into the ready hands of Pat Kowalski and Gordon Holder who both broke the gain line with every crash. A few minutes from the starting whistle the Unders found themselves in a state of confusion staring at the opening try, scored by the senior side. The Unders spent the next 15 minutes manning an ineffectual scrambled defence where it looked like only Joe Reynolds could tackle and soon found themselves 3 tries down. However, the Overs knew they needed a strong start, although age had granted experience it had also taken away fitness. Showing true grit Rickey Davey went down after one crunch encounter and after vowing to return was back on the pitch before the next breakdown.

“it would have been great to hear what sweet nothings were whispered into Jamie’s ear”

As half time loomed the Unders clawed back a couple of scores with breakaway runs on the outside from Dan Witter and Rolstone “Dave” Langmead (can see why he prefers Dave) revealing the Overs weakness in the defence. Despite the uplift in the Unders offence Jonny Korcz reminded the youths not to underestimate their elders by sending Joe a textbook hospital pass which elicited both cheers and moans from the crowd as Gordon took the opportunity to send Joe flying. As frustrations increased Bob Dean relieved himself by mounting Jamie Keating at the bottom of a ruck earning himself DH for the Overs. Oh, how it would have been great to hear what sweet nothings were whispered into Jamie’s ear.

“Abdul when questioned about why Kai deserved DH helpfully replied, ‘because of course he does’.”

Half time brought with it a few surreptitious swigs from side-line pints and the appearance of many more club legends. Abdul’s signature turn and pop soon became a key playmaker move. The author himself enjoyed being twisted in the scrum by Chris “It’s my last season again” Dearing. Cannonball style runs from Manny and Arnie brought more scores for the Overs but by this point the Unders were getting two tries for every one the Overs mustered. With the chance of victory being stolen from them or perhaps forgetfulness brought on by age the Overs ended up with 3 extra players on the pitch. Fortunately, the referee was also suffering memory loss when it came to counting players, so the game intensified in the last quarter. The final whistle brought much relief to both sides with final score 54-38 to the whippersnappers. More than a couple of pints were consumed in the bar afterwards. Deservedly Pete Towers, son of Ann and Dick, took Man of the Match for the Overs and Joe took MotM for the Unders. Club captain Kai Cassimiss undeservedly received DH after a unanimous vote from the Overs. Abdul when questioned about why Kai deserved DH helpfully replied, ‘because of course he does’.

Max Thomason

Interested in coming to play at Streatham-Croydon RFC? Why not come down to training either Tuesday or Thursday at 7:30? Or come to watch a home game on a Saturday? Join our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/StreathamRugby/

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