After a boisterous Christmas fuelled with alcohol, merry Pinner 1st returned to the field against Wasps 2nd to try to regain ground on the top 2 of OH and London Welsh.
The day started off with “Traditional Breakfasts” in Pinner Rugby favourite past time off of the field Weatherspoons Hatch End to prepare for the afternoon’s battle (smaller breakfasts for those who overindulged during the festive season!)
The team was a welcomed mix of regular 1st team players and fringe players to show their worth at MMT 3 level of which they didn’t disappoint. Thankfully all players arrived at the ground with enough time to spare even with Will Micallef getting lost only 10 minutes from the pub somewhere in harrow claiming to have arrived much to the bemusement of the other players in the car.
After a solid warm-up led by the “flu-ridden” captain Dan Muckley and some sort of “Afrikaner” team talk byNick DJ which we are currently having translated, the game was started by a great kick off from scrum-half Ben “Pinnochio” Soloman (restart scrum from the middle).
Early pressure from the Pinner forwards resulted in a penalty to Pinner with the ref warning Wasps to stop crying about how good Pinner was and to get on with it. Ben Soloman stepped up and slotted the ball between the sticks to make it 3-0. After the restart, Pinner gave away a soft knock on but managed to recycle the ball from the scrum which proved to be much stronger of the two packs for the majority of the match. For the next 10 minutes, Wasps applied pressure upon the Pinner defence which refused to give in. Eventually, the ball was won by way of a penalty and Soloman slotted a ball 20m from the touchline with precision. A fine take at the line-out by Flanker John “shotgun” Muray led to a well worked try from the forwards with Andrew “the hulk” no.8 touching down to put Pinner well into the lead. Another well-worked move this time from the backs put Pinner ahead 26-0 5 minutes from half time, though Wasps pulled a try back after Pinner sustained an intense few minutes of attacks, repelling wave after wave successfully only for an overlap to appear and wasps to touchdown.
HT: 5 – 26
Second half – with a few changes of “good looking” Mark and leading club try-scorer Lee Muckley entering the fold (who incidentally may have made the tackle of the season), at the restart the hooker dropped the ball shockingly (and out of character) to allow Wasps a scrum in the Pinners 22, but as was the forwards impact of Bullet and Aaron 2 the ball was won back. With consistent tackling from lock Dale, a breakaway move resulted in a fantastic try from Baggsy. Upon the restart, the pressure was kept up by Pinner, with Man of the Match Thomas Cosgrove (finally sobering up and producing a moment of brilliance) to hand off the Wasps centre then send a ball out the back of the hand for a try by old but slim Pat Leahy. Ben Soloman stepped up from right in front of the posts for an audacious drop kick to send the ball sailing wide onto the women’s pitch to earn him Dick of the Day and 5 shots of Bacardi in a pint (shake your head now) On came the final substitutions of Ed and Will Micallef to win their places in the 1st team and they didn’t disappoint making breakdowns and hitting solid tackles. Wasps buzzed back strongly for a consolation try but the Pinner heads never dropped and upped the tempo. A fine well worked try led to Baggsy touching down for his hat-trick after leaving the Wasps winger to do his knitting and consider a role in another sport. Another scrum in the Wasps 10 led to a great shove from the Pinner forwards consisting of prop replacement Will Micallef, Rob, Bullet, newly promoted 2nd row Bow, Dale, Ed and Cozzie to allow Andrew “the hulk” to touch down for his hat-trick.
FT: Wasps 2nd 12 – Pinner 1st 45
The final result of 12 – 45 was a befitting score for the first game of the new year for Pinner RFC (drinking team with a rugby problem) and lifts them to 3rd in the league 3 points off of the top. With the rust of Christmas and the New Year celebrations shaken off Pinner 1st play host next weekend to Staines II and host the Middlesex Presidents Lunch.
Try Scorers: Andrew 3 Baggsy 3 Cozzie 2
Kicks: Ben Solomon 5 points
Man of the Match – Thomas “Cozzie” Cosgrove
Dick of the Day – Ben Soloman
Thank you to the supporters on the sidelines of 2’s Hooker Skelly, Biffo, Club President David Hiles, Andrews Dad and Honorary Tiny Supporter Lexie Muckley.