A Vision Of Legend
Like something akin to the rising of Lazarus, SCOB 1st XV came from 20 points behind to win by 11.
For anyone unfamiliar with the story of Lazarus, and let's face it that is most of us here at SCOB RFC - he was the chap in The Bible that Jesus restored to life having been dead for four days. For anyone who watched on Saturday you'll see why the story is an apt analogy.
A strong, but changed, team travelled down the M4 to Tadley at the weekend for what should - at least on paper - have been a fairly straight forward game. Tadley having finished third in the league last year, narrowly missing out on promotion and having won 2 from 2 so far this season vs. a SCOB team with plenty of experience of the levels above and a strong desire to return there.
That said, Tadley started the party, and started it well - the first SCOB maul was ripped by the Tadley Goliath 'Big Sam' who, at loose head, dwarved the returning Michael Bizley in the front row before proceeding to barrel over any in his way down the park.... This set the tone for the game, or at least the first 40 minutes in which silly penalties, a very switched on ref and some clever tactical play saw Tadley take a first half lead of 20 points vs the 5 that SCOB could muster (oh and Eoin Crean take a yellow card - not that Greig O'Brien even noticed he was gone, apparently).
The second half, however, was - ironically compared to the Corsham game - won by fitness, desire, resolve and teamwork. It didnt quite start that way though - another scything run from the Tadley back line saw them increase the gap to 20 points and the future here, was bleak.... A twenty point gap - SCOB on the ropes. What changed at this point we'll never know, divine intervention, a sudden belief, Liam Spillane had sobered up...? The final throws of the game were vastly different - think Twins, the first half was Danny DeVito , the second half - Arnie.
Clever play saw Eoin Crean cross the line three times, Liam Davis take a 50 metre sprint slaying 5 defenders in the process and Michael Calvert out thinking the defence to go over for the clubs very own 'swan dive' try. In addition Florin Palcau kept it interesting with his scintilating kicks, scything runs and casually deciding whether or not we needed the extra two points (Florin was given MOTM by Tadley). The final mention goes to two guys though, who really could be the SCOB version of 'Twins'. Kevin Scott who, after taking over at 10 due to Spillane being unable to walk properly, was quite simply unbelievable and Anthony Weston (Tiny) who is proving why he should have joined SCOB years ago - the enjoyment on his face as he barrelled up the middle of the pitch was a pleasure to watch and his efforts throughout the game practically unmatched.
As a final summary and to quote Martin Lloyd; "The whole thing was a triumph for human spirit and character, refusing to be beaten when the odds are against you. Churchill would have written a speech about it. As a team you've taken five years off my life."
Full Time Score: Tadley 30 - 41 SCOB