An Alternative View of IWRFC with O’Pinion – Sat. 24 Sept. 2016
Up to today, it would be fair to say that IWRFC had had better weeks. The sad loss of two club stalwarts dwarfed in significance a disappointing start to our Hampshire One campaign at Romsey. However, this defeat in its own way hurt those who hold the club dear. The announcement on Thursday that we were unable to muster a second team for the trip to play Stoneham did not improve the mood. And so, we looked to the firsts’ home league opener against Chineham for solace.
The squad welcomed back some familiar faces, and the day dawned positively balmy. A good crowd mustered on a good day to be alive, and after a poignant minute’s silence, the game began. Like a whirlwind, for IW. O’Pinion cannot remember, with his admittedly feeble memory, an IWRFC side ever taking a 14-0 lead inside six minutes, which is exactly what happened. Zimby was back at his rampaging best to finish off some great moves, and ‘Big Dog’ Murray, playing out of his normal second row position, landed two touchline conversions. It looked like a long afternoon for our Basingstoke-based visitors.
Then things changed a bit – Chineham showed they were up for it, and we started getting injuries. Dan Taylor would not return, and it’s hoped his knee injury is not as serious as first thought. Fryan did get back on after lots of blood and bandage, but not before the visitors had scored their try. Apparently the scorer had a foot in touch, but their hefty touch judge was rather a long way away at the time. No biggy in the grand scheme of things, though IW would have loved the clean sheet. In any case, a cracking try involving Hampshire’s best looking back row unit (according to them) gave us a 21-5 lead at half-time to face the breeze – not bad.
We were under a bit of pressure in the third quarter, but saw it out (kudos to Tanner and Gary Gary for a host of belting hits) and chased the four-try bonus. Though Mikey couldn’t catch and Freeman got white-line fever, both had good games and played their part in the last two tries, one by our excellent skipper Stirrup, and a hat-trick score by Zimby, this one a trademark dash from the next county. Five points on the board, and things already look rosier. Well played, fellas!
The club was graced today by some new Rangers, as young Tennant and Taylor made their first appearances at the Fortress. O’Pinion is particularly impressed by little James’ attendance at the tender age of four days! Hopefully the 2nds will have similar backing for their match at home to Petersfield 3rds next week, before the 1sts welcome surprise table-toppers Petersfield for their next game on 8 October.
Yet as new Rangers join us, sadly older ones left us recently. We current holders of the IWRFC flame have people such as Roy Jones and Malcolm Keith to thank for the club we have today. Their respective huge contributions to the club will not be forgotten, and it is our responsibility to follow their example, on or off the field. No doubt they would have enjoyed today’s performance and result. Thank you, gentlemen, and may you rest in peace.