Round 1 v Glasgow Sharks
May 2 2015
Round One of the 2015 SARFL season found the Bloods in a Grand Final replay against the Glasgow Sharks in Glasgow. With numbers limited due to injury, marathon fatigue and the Bank Holiday Weekend, a small band met at Waverley for the train trip west. Picking up the President in Linlithgow (who due to the lack of numbers came out of retirement, for the day) and meeting the last 3 members of the squad in Glasgow, the 11 players arrived at GHA Rugby Club keen to start off the season well.
Coach McSparron emphasised how he wanted the team to play, and in cool (some may say cold) conditions with a strong cross breeze, the team responded fully in the first quarter. The game plan was executed very well, keeping the Sharks scoreless whilst applying much scoreboard pressure ourselves. The only blip being an injury to Rami Eid, whose pain was almost matched by the President’s heartache realising that he would have to spend more time on the pitch and less on the bench for the rest of the match.
¼ time score: Sharks 0.0.0 Bloods 5.7.37
Coach McSparron was very happy at quarter time, telling the team to continue the way they had started. The second quarter was pretty much the same as the first, with the Bloods dominating all over the field, but not applying as much scoreboard pressure, kicking 2 goals 5 behinds for the quarter whilst allowing the Sharks to get on the scoreboard with one behind.
½ time score: Sharks 0.1.1 Bloods 7.12.54
The third quarter was almost a carbon copy of the second, with the Bloods running rampant and the Sharks again scoring one behind. However the scoreboard had begun to tick over again for the team with six goals and 9 behinds for the quarter.
¾ time score: Sharks 0.2.2 Bloods 13.21.99
In the final quarter, the team continued playing the way they had for the previous 3 quarters, but again upped the workrate for the goal umpires. The Sharks managed to score a goal as Coach McSparron tripped on the undulating turf in a desperate attempt to smother, but apart from that, the Bloods dominance was complete, and the President was content to slip back into retirement.
Final Score: Sharks 1.4.10 Bloods 22.27.159
Team: Ewen Pickles, Dave Jordan, Martin Kruit, Alan McSparron, Chris McGookin, Kayne Sheahan, Manny Massone, Sion Gardner, Rami Eid, Andy Bircher, Craig Stevens
Round 2 v Falkirk Silverbacks
May 31 2015
The Bloods’ second match of 2015 took the team to Falkirk to play the Silverbacks for the first time in a competitive match. With some late withdrawals due to illness, Coach McSparron took a couple of hours out of baby watch to lead the side. In windy conditions, 3 players were making their debut for the club, Russell Edgar, David Ayre and Dillon Farrell.
And it was Dillon who lit up the first quarter, kicking 3 goals in an 8 goal to nil romp with the wind. The midfield was linking up well and feeding the ball forward at every opportunity. If it weren’t for some rather long vegetation behind the goals slowing down the restarts, the margin may have been greater at quarter time.
The second quarter saw Falkirk kicking with the wind, and starting to find their feet in the game. A low scoring contest ensued, with the defences of both teams on top, although the Bloods just shaded the Silverbacks in the quarter.
The third quarter followed a similar pattern to the second, with the defences of both teams strong, with the Bloods being helped to win the quarter by some ill-discipline from the Falkirk players.
Going into the last quarter, the Bloods had a substantial lead of some 80 points, and may have been looking forward to the post match as the Silverbacks piled on 6 goals with the wind to win the quarter handsomely. The Bloods had done enough in the first three quarters however to hold on to win the match comfortably in the end.
Final Scores: Bloods 18 19 127 def Silverbacks 9 10 64
Team: Alan McSparron, Kayne Sheehan, Dylan Brooke, Calum Ware, Callum Smith, Russell Edgar, David Ayre, Martin Kruit, Forbes Kennedy, Luke Kay, David Monaghan, Dillon Farrell, David Jordan, Duncan Fell and lastly, but by no means least, Adrian Vahey.