Hampstead 2nd XV finished off their season in stunning fashion with a league and cup double, beating the side that had helped them to secure the league, Old Albanians. The game started in controversial fashion with reports that James Glaysher will sue Hampstead RFC after his extraordinary rendition whilst in Beccles. Glaysher complained that he was tortured by being made to drink copious amounts of beer and alco-pops. Some might call it just a bit of fun, but it meant he wasn’t available for the 2s final game due to his weak physical condition.
The Hampstead side returned to one which had been the staple of the season with Gladwell, Byrne, Martin, Wadsworth and the “young Roger Dearling” Putin in the engine room of the tight five. On a wide pitch it was OAs who started in dominant fashion using their tall rangy forwards to good effect and switching the play between blind and openside, but a series of handling errors letting them down. Hampstead began the game as they meant to go on getting pinged at the breakdown.
The first moment of controversy was when the OA’s inside centre decided to spear tackle Vaughn Linklater. Vaughn was so surprised he gave a subdued reply by only handing the player off in the face later in the game, subdued indeed for Vaughn! From the resulting penalty Morgan “AFL” Clement slotted the ball between the posts after the touch-judges had almost forgotten to go behind the posts. From the next attack a flowing move after a break from the centres resulted in Tom “McGoldrilocks” McGoldrick crossing the line. Hampstead 10-0. The tries kept coming for McGoldrick with the forwards finally getting their range at the rucks, although struggling at the set piece. With Simon watching on the man who had unsuccessfully tried to chat up his daughter crossed the line, Paddy Hilley. The Scot looked over and Simon’s face still hadn’t cracked a smile. And Hampstead kept going up to half time up 29-5.
The second half started in amazing fashion when the strong wind played its part. The ball bouncing high and long and “the Panther” QVB beautifully picked the up and fed McGoldrick who scored yet another try. Morgan then added another penalty to give Hampstead a seemingly unassailable lead with OAs down to 14 again after one of their players deliberately tripped Hampstead’s fly-half Clement. Little did he know Clement would have fallen over in any case. Then OAs came storming back into the game with some powerful runs. Their set piece and driving mauls got them back into the game and 2 tries from driving mauls helped them back into the game. Then in the final five minutes Hampstead had to hold out and were defending the line with great gusto. Eventually Tristan Gladwell was sin binned but the Hampstead line held firm with a great determination after Putin was moved to prop and held the scrum firm.
Hampstead won 40-17 in the final game of the season. Notable mentions to Eddie McGoldilocks and JD Pienaar, but it was the hard work of all the players over a long season that has made this all possible. There were jubilant scenes and the boys were truly happy to have won the league and the cup. MCD went up to collect both trophies and the beers started to flow…
After the game Hampstead’s international news correspondent Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin caught up with Morgan Clement:
VVP: So Morgan congrats, a couple of dodgy kicks today, but you orchestrated your backs well. How does it feel to have done the league and cup double?
Clement: Well it feels great I’m so happy for the boys. I’m pleased that my abysmal kicks to touch, which go behind the gain line, didn’t let the boys down. It’s also nice because all season we’ve had to cope not being able to understand a word that our saffer contingent has been saying to us and when one of them is the scrum-half; that makes my job a heck of a lot more difficult. He keeps calling out widge, pittern and pendilim – I have no idea what any of those words mean.
VVP: Well yes – that’s why I don’t do interviews with them as we’d need to pay for an interpreter. Rumour has it that you’re going to be playing AFL over the summer?
Clement: Yeeaaaaah buddy, there’s nothing better than a load of muscular men running around in tight-fitting sleeveless shirts. I love it and love watching it.
VVP: Okay, hope you’re not coming out to me. There’s nothing I can think off that’s worse than the idea of Tim Martin in a tight-fitting sleeveless shirt; no-one wants to see that, not even his girlfriend. So can we expect you back at the club next season?
Clement: Yeeeaaaah buddy, I’ll be back next season hoping to push onto the 1s. I know I need to improve my kicking and post-game banter but I’ll work on that over the summer. What about you? You gonna be back next season?
VVP: Sadly Morgan for me the Soviet authorities have seen fit to exile me to deepest darkest Africa – Zambia. Apparently my poor writing and my dealings in the James Glaysher debacle have led me down this path. It’s a 2 year exile, but I’ll be back to Hampstead one day, hopefully. Thanks Morgs for the interview see you for a few beers at our dinner next week.
Clement: Yeeeaaaaah buddy!
Final Score: 40-12