Sunday, 7 December 2008

South Gower and Fall Bay matches

From the Theatre Royal, West Cross where he is starring as Widow Twanky, Michael Morgan regales the Christmas tale of "The Three Merry Kings of Mumbles". The reindeer are played by Floyd and Baron Hardnut by Lyndon. Dan is of course Dandini because he likes wearing tights and Mike Gravenor is our muscial director, choirmaster and has a small part in which he sings a short song entitled: "Who stole Mike's pies". Apparently the audience should reply "Dan".

A get better soon message goes to: Alex, Ben H., Keiran and Sam.

Are you sitting comfortably...because the tales begins...

December 7th 2008

Game 1 - South Gower 2 - Mumbles 6

Game 2 - Fall Bay 3 - Mumbles 2

For today's Yuletide fixture, like many others in the region, we travelled with great expectation to sample the festive atmosphere offered at Lapland West Gower, Scurlage.
Our opponents in the Red Robin Gower Challenge were the hosts from Fall Bay and our old sparring partners, South Gower. Having left plenty of travelling time to safely negotiate the obligatory convoy of muck spreaders, caravaners, horse boxes and farmer Palmer's 300 strong dairy cattle herd, the Crusaders Polar Express entourage for the day dutifully arrived on time at its final destination for a scheduled 11.30 kick off.

Players for the day were Dom, Liam, Harry, Lloyd, Cian, Tom G, Tom P, Jack P, Rhys C, Cameron, Nathan, Ben M and a welcome return to the fold for Max.

In the first of our games for the Holly Willoughby Garland Trophy against South Gower all players seemed to pick up from the lessons learnt over the last few weeks in training and against live opposition. On a short and narrow pitch, all players had to quickly adapt to keeping their running attacking and defensive lines straighter than in previous encounters. Against very credible opponents who always provide us with a difficult test, the players showed some tremendous rugby nous, teamwork and quick thinking to enable us to emerge with a victory. Particularly pleasing in this encounter was the even distribution of tries amongst the players and their commitment in both contact and contesting the ball in the tackle area.

Almost immediately after the South Gower game the players were called upon to play for local pride and bragging rights against the host team Fall Bay. Although this was our first encounter of the season against them, previous fixtures against them have always been keenly contested and tight encounters. On that front, today's game proved to be no exception and was a fantastic display of rugby from both teams that had the crowd purring with appreciation. For the Crusaders, as always, every player showed tremendous pride in their jersey and at times the standard of play from one and all was amongst the best we have seen. All players showed on the day that the right attitude in games like these is just as an important factor as the high skill levels displayed on the field of play. Although the result went against us, all players and parents who saw this game should be proud of their achievements and on another day, having not played back to back matches and on a wider field the result may have favoured us when possibly a draw today would have been a fairer reflection on the players' efforts.

Team Crusaders would like to thank Fall Bay and South Gower for allowing us to muscle in on their fixture whereby our previous opponents Morriston were double booked for the day. The fact that we were given this opportunity to play is in part a reflection of the sporting standards set on and off the field by the players, parents and supporters of the Crusaders whereby teams are willing to host us at short notice because of the positive values and encouragement given to both sides by all connected to the team. Building this type of relationship at this age group is important because as we progress through the age ranges, the games may become a little more "spiky" and winning may be considered a bit more important.

In summary, an excellent morning rugby was had by all and we look forward to honouring our fixtures against our excellent and very hospitable hosts Fall Bay. Despite most of the Crusaders missing the opportunity and experience of seeing elves, huskies, reindeer and Santa in his WinterWonderland oasis that is Lapland West Gower, no unsavoury incidents or complaints have been received by the many visitors that visited there today, no-one has asked for a refund and the council do not intend to slap a closing order against them.

Dan, Lyndon and Mike would also like to thank all concerned with the Crusaders for their support in 2008 and wish you all a Merry Christmas

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