Boys will be boys

8 07 2007

I was volunteering for a second consecutive day, this time the adults’ tournament. I set off from Llandudno with a hangover, my sunburned features partially soothed by some creme. A short train journey and I alighted in Bangor. The peopleless scene reminded me that it was a Sunday.

I was meant to be waiting outside the station with one of today’s referees. I’d seen the ref depart the platform in his full kit. What possessed someone to travel for an hour in their referee’s kit? Maybe it was his way of stimulating conversation. It seemed a little odd to me. After a quick search I couldn’t find the whistleblower anywhere. My lift arrived just as I’d finished looking.

As I was a little late arriving most of the jobs had been done, consequently I spent most of the day watching football. Bangor’s new manager, Nev, was there and I passed him the sun creme, which he thanked me for. One of Bangor’s prospective new signing was there and he seemed a very nice chap, with a nice taste in music.

While the sun beat down the football continued. Les Davies, a returning Bangor hero, had a team again this year but there was no sign of Robbo. In general the teams looked like any other teams in any other tournament . You had good ones, older ones, scally ones, laid back ones, in fact a whole smorgasbord of aptitudes and temperaments.

One match in particular that is worth mentioning might well be described as the “Battle of Treborth” in years to come. Last year’s champions, City Sevens, played another team from Bangor, Maes G. The champs were routinely battered, kicked and even punched. One guy on the Maes G team became more and more irate as the game progressed. The fact that he was swearing so violently at the ref felt a little strange; he was wearing blue boots. Today’s hardmen are fashion-conscious. Dewi told me that he’d been banned for 7 years, what kind of example is that setting? Blue Boots!!!! What’s wrong with black ones?

I realised something today, a foul takes all of the timing and precision that a normal tackle does; you wait for your moment and then bang!! You fling yourself feet first at an opponent’s body. If it’s wrongly timed you look a bit silly as your opponent continues to cut silkily through the rest of your team. During this match you had plenty of examples of this art in practice. In fact I heard that Hulse may be putting in a few offers for these Maes G players, so impressed was he with their technique. Rhyl are always on the look out for fresh blood, usually on the bottom of their boots or the elbows of their shirts.

Anyway, goodness prevailed and the City Sevens won. In a touching display afterwards all seemed to have been forgiven as the players embraced. I had a further indication of what the Mae G team was like when I was clearing up the rubbish. Bottles and cans strewn everywhere, no-one putting anything in the rubbish bag for me, the practiced look of disdain that screamed scally. Still, you wouldn’t look twice at them on a Saturday night otherwise vengeance would be full and painful.

City Sevens made it to the semis but they lost to a team from Ellesmere Port. The team from Ellesmere Port lost to a team from Beaumaris in the final, a team that included ex-Bangor legend Paul Whelan.




One response

16 07 2007

Twas a good day, and a fine battle!

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