Confessions of a Rugby Amateur

Confessions of a Rugby Amateur

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Season 2010/11: Part 1

I missed the first few games of the new season as I tested out my shoulder in a couple of 2nd team games. Probably just as well to be honest, as it wasn’t a bright start. We had a tough opening run. Losing heavily to Hertford, Dorking and Ampthill - who now make up three of the top four spots in the league. Another heavy defeat at home to Staines and it appeared the writing was on the wall.

But the spirit in camp was positive. We had all accepted that it would be a tough opening and we now had experience in this league to know that it was a long season. A couple of new recruits from Loughborough Uni, including David Shotton, Nathan Lamden and Jimmy ’The Boot’ Fouracre made an immediate impact in a commanding 28-10 win. It also happened to me my first game back in the black and gold. I suppose it would be wrong to claim full responsibility for turning the team’s fortunes around but…;-)

Winning is definitely a habit and once we had broken our duck we put together a string of excellent results, including home wins against Basingstoke, Bracknell and away at Havant. There was an away loss to league favourites Barnes but an encouraging fight back restored some pride and gave us plenty of positives to move on from (oops…couple of clich├ęs in there sorry!)

Next up was a trip away to Gravesend where we faced my old scrum half from Uni John Clement. Although it was certainly good to see him again, the game was a bit of a horror show. We started well but suffered from ‘Arsenal-itis’ of trying to be too elaborate. For all our possession and domination in the first half, we didn’t get enough points on the board and promptly capitulated to a 34-21 loss in the last five minutes.

Another debilitating loss at home to huge local rivals Bishops Stortford meant that heads were starting to drop again.

The crazy state of the pitch at Diss
When we made the long trip up to Diss, our confidence levels were waning. In my eyes, this was the most ridiculous game of the season. It took us three hours to get there only to discover the pitch was under two inches of snow! And to make matters worse…we played the game! The conditions suited their monstrous pack and we lost 20-15 with Diss scoring two push over tries. This was certainly a baptism of fire for our new Kiwi recruits, James Stephenson and Tim Loughnan. It was a disappointing loss but the journey home certainly improved spirits and restored pride. There’s nothing quite like a long boozy bus trip to bring a team together!


  1. Good stuff Tom! You'll have to let me know when your next game is v Gravesend. I'll come and watch you and JC go at it.

    If it makes you feel any older, I'm a tad younger than you and already a retired player. Studying to be a barrister and a young daughter have put paid to it and my waist-line is suffering as a result.

    Why not throw in a blog about your recollections of uni rugby? Would be good to read.

    Will D-J.

  2. Sorry mate, we've already played Gravesend twice now so might have to be next season.

    Good luck with the barrister-ing! I hear you're planning a wedding as well? Hope your family are doing well (Will D-J with a family! Jeepers!).

    I'll try and do one on Uni rugby but not sure how much I remeber!

    Speak soon mate