I'm so excited and I just can't hide it !
By Paul Johnson
Boro Wasps Win the Candy Cup
What a day and what a final. Playing on a lovely pitch up at Ryton we knew we were in for a tough game against old friends and rivals Morpeth.
The game would be evenly contested as the sides had met previously in the league twice this season with the home team winning on both occasions. The Wasps fielded probably the strongest side they had all season and we really up for this one.
One note of interest was that Tekori Moore ( Son of Simon ) was involved in the matchday squad which was a total surprise to his old man as he had come home from Uni and stayed with his grandad the night before to keep it a secret. The surprise was nearly too much for Simon , it had such an impact he managed to kick the ball straight this week !
Anyway to the game itself. The first twenty minutes were very tight with both teams playing attacking rugby and both teams tackling like demons. The deadlock was broken when Boro number 8 - The sous chef - Euan Tremblett threw an outrageous dummy from the back of a scrum and raced nearly half the pitch clear to score. Si slotted the extras.
Morpeth came back and kicked a penalty goal to reduce the deficit. As half time approached the Wasps got a penalty in a good attacking position. Having decided before the game not to kick at goal, we haven't choosen that option in 4 years !, the boys opted for a scrum. As has been the case all year the set piece held firm with Messers Hodson, Gaines and Ped in the front row and Cieran Malcolm and Wilf packing down behind them ensuring the resulting scrum went forward with an impressive turn of speed. This ensured that the Morpeth back had to stay bound. As the scrum advanced scrum half Mcroberts fed the ball out to the oncoming crash centre Philly Wall who smashed his way over to score. As you can see this was greeted with some enthusiasm from the boys. SI Moore slotted the conversion.
Morpeth still had time to come back and what happened next was probably one of the defining moments of the match. The Morpeth winger had broken the gain line and was clear through only for a last gasp amazing tap tackle from Will Deek's to bring him down and thwart the danger. Half time Boro 14 - Morpeth 3
Changes were made by both teams at half time and it was Morpeth who scored first in the second half. The Wasps however responded well playing a tactical game keeping the ball in hand and turning Morpeth with kicks when needed. Another crucial moment came in the game when Morpeth's other winger made a line break. Sam Pearce showed a fantastic turn of speed to turn and then chase him down executing a perfect cover tackle to bring the move to a close.
The handling on display during the game was excellent with forwards and backs combining well to keep the ball alive. Several nice touches in midfield by back row 3G Seymour, Mike "Cliff " Thorburn and Jo Secret created half breaks and the Wasps were unlucky not to turn these chances into better scoring opportunities. Morpeth scored a second try but again missed the conversion. Things were tight and several more changes were made using the bench to good effect bringing on Theo Ellis at scrum half and putting Macca at fullback. Young colt Jo Sawden came into the backrow, Curtis at Lock, Quinny on for the once again impressive veteran Ped at prop and Jack Wade took over hooking duties.
Boro's third try came with about 20 minutes to play. An attacking lineout was secured and driven over with Euan dotting down to score his brace. The game continued at pace with both sides still playing some excellent, committed rugby. Boro's final throw of the dice was to bring on team manager Jonno to add some weight and panache to the game.
Boro continued to attack and after a fine line break by Field Marshall Tremblett the ball was recycled and Jack Wade danced his way over to score. With the game secure Boro went all out for one last try and it was prop Quinny who barrelled his way over from close range, ably supported by Jonno who added his considerable mass to push him over the line. Final score Boro 31 - Morpeth 13
A great day and a fitting farewell for several of the boys who have dedicated so much to the Wasps over this season and several others before. A special thank you must go to Bad Boy Willis for his coaching efforts and tactical nous on the day and for all his help over the years. His involvement is a major reason why the Wasps have enjoyed the successes they have over the last 5 years.
A final mention must go to the club. On a day when several late first team cry off's happened the club appreciated what the final meant to the Wasps regulars and travelled without the full compliment of players on their bench. Other clubs would not have been so understanding.
Thank you one and all for everything that happened that day, including old man Tremblett who purchased two jugs for the boys post match !