Date published: August 23, 2022
A not-so-quiet pint on the bus on the way back
Rochdale Masters made the short trip to Halifax-based Siddal on Saturday (August 20) for their Masters ‘War of the Roses’.
Officially, there are no winners in Masters games as the game aims to encourage older players to return to the sport and support grassroots clubs while having fun.
From the kick-off, it was a brilliant game of rugby between two enthusiastic teams with no quarters asked or given.
The home team played on the considerable slope of the first third and scored both tries by taking advantage of their big forwards. Rochdale showed great spirit as they fought back and prevented further scoring with outstanding defending from their giant hooker Curly Kershaw.
Once they stabilized the ship, Rochdale began to take over the game thanks to their powerful pack, with Ian Murgatroyd, Andy Battersby and Adam Parmesan making telling contributions.
The Rochdale half-backs were superb all afternoon and a lot of credit for that has to be given, especially to Simon Howe after his recent hand transplant.
Wiggy Whatmough – or The Rochdale Flyer as he likes to be known – marked his sides only try after a well-worked move saw John Schofield and Dave Chrimes link up with Tex Fletcher who picked up a pass from Adam Bywater on the floor and gave it back. to Wiggy who was on his own dead ball line.
He showed a change of pace usually associated only with really scared people as he accelerated 100 yards on the wing to dive into the corner.
Debutant Declan Walsh also had a huge impact on the game.
The match was played in fantastic spirit and enjoyed by everyone involved, even the referee who kept saying “this is the best masters match I have ever refereed” as he tried to keep pace with the game.
All in all, it was a great day for everyone involved, especially the spectators whose numbers were boosted by the Mayfield supporters who had arrived to watch their team play Siddal in the NCL.
Everyone then enjoyed a leisurely pint at the Siddal club, followed by a not so leisurely pint on the bus on the way home.
The mum, picked on the bus by Adam ‘Chubby’ Bywater, went alone. He said: “I was a revelation at the back, having a huge impact on the game both in attack and defence.”