OWBA V Barnstaple Barbarians 2016
In a change with convention this year’s report comes from the opposition……
What a game, so much fun and played in such good spirit, but how close it was so close to being a complete disaster!
Due to South Molton 3rd’s pre-booked fixture, Barnstaple agreed to supply a mixed 15 to play the OWBA. We managed to cobble together one of the worst looking teams I have ever seen. I say that as there were only 8 of us which is obviously 7 shy of a team.
With the help of Bugsy, a whipper snapper at 46 we managed to twist the arms of sports teachers, Mr Allin and Mr Davies and with little persuasion, Paul Chapman and young Ross donned their boots we now had 12.
This by sheer co-incidence was the same number as the old boys. Russ and Hursty (99-06F) the WB Old boys captain agreed to try and play a few 15 min sessions until the old fogeys ran out of steam. Hursty and the Old Boys were extremely understanding and agreed to amend the rules slightly, the youngsters weren't allowed to kick thus forcing them to run everything.
The match went almost exactly as anticipated. The Barnstaple 12 had some fantastic talent, experience and knowledge of the game, this unfortunately didn't make up for their incredible lack of fitness and age. In their defence, there were some great passages of play, Bugsy at scrum half played fantastically well the entire game, Tony Carter Burns (who rumour has it is 58) hadn't actually played since 1990 (which is for the record before any old boy was even born, in fact some of their parents hadn't even met yet) had a stormer.
Russ Copsey managed to get the ball 5m out and trundle over is his normal fat boy way bouncing off players left right and centre. Some say it was lucky the penalty wasn't 7m out as he never would have maintained a run of that distance.
Another try was scored by Barnstaple and The Old Boys in quick succession making it a short lived lead by Barnstaple of 10-5.
This I'm afraid is as much as I can remember of the game, my vision was so blurred through sweat and the play so far away I could really figure out what was going on. My understanding is though The Old Boys managed a few more lucky break away tries and won quite convincingly.
Hats off to Hursty and his team for a great fun and good spirited day and West Buckland for the BBQ and a few beers afterwards in the sun. We look forward to the rematch!
Russ Copsey (Father of Sam Copsey Yr8)