It was a cold Saturday in Marble Hill Park and Spartans were playing what is starting to feel like a rare home game. We were without some of our familiar faces as unfortunately many had dropped out when they realised this match against Hampstead was not an away fixture involving a trip to the Heath…. Notwithstanding this, we were unshaken in our resolve. After all, who could beat us if we stood together?
Accounts vary, but some say that Hampstead sent as many as 14 men down to South West London to meet our challenge head on. We would need to be on the top of our game to overcome these foes.
After a quick warm up which included reminding our regular second row David ‘Jacko’ Jackson of the lineout calls … we thought we were ready to go. Well as it turns out, we weren’t.
Hampstead scored under the posts right from the kick-off. We dusted ourselves off and resolved to take control of the game. The first half was an epic battle, both teams having their considerable ambition thwarted only by the ball (which may as well have been a bar of soap with some of the handling skills on display….). Nevertheless, we scored at the end the first half, heading into the break with a lead by three tries to two.
In the second half our dominance started to show through. Our eight man scrummage blew away their six man effort like it was a feather in the breeze. We even taunted them by brazenly making a substitution. Although Hampstead remained competitive throughout, they just couldn’t match the spirited aggression that we brought to the game.
Special mentions go to Mikhal for a try in his first ever game of rugby, Paul Barrett for returning from the dead, Christian for not getting cramp at any point and Steve Smith for playing most of the game with a bit of cloth in his nostril when his nose just wouldn’t stop bleeding. The casualty list includes Ken, DaveJohn and PK for coming down and supporting from the side lines.
1) Jay, 2)Banner, 3) Christian, 4) Jacko, 5) Soups, 6) Paddy, 7)Michal Sulkowski, 8) Gav Lock, 9)Tom Raper, 10) Dan, 11) Paul Barrett, 12)Steve Smith, 13) Ben Lee, 14) Colm, 15) Jake, 16) Walker
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