Because I was there - view from the stand
Clifton Rugby Club has enjoyed some great days and the day of the outstanding victory over Hartpury College has to go down as one to savour. Head Coach Salts was still on a high pushing his daughter’s pram around Clifton Village during the early hours of Sunday morning------Young Isabella Salter very taken with Clifton mini recruit Freddie Barnes in his Clifton top which was apparently a gift from Uncle Darren-----the lengths some Directors of Rugby will go to influence young players!
Co-chair Steve sorting very fine head gear was still triumphantly
driving the Netsafe vehicle on Sunday morning somewhere near the Brunel
Wine Bar crowing about victory down the Mead.
Freddie’s dad [John Barnes] was clearly enjoying his return to Cribbs
Causeway and the scene of many memorable moments for him and us.
Sparring with the Clifton coaching fraternity at half time provided good
half time entertainment. Clifton does not need a Bris the Bear at half
time unless Ronnie has ideas.
Much has been about the match elsewhere and it has to go down as one of
the best in our recent history----final revenge for that result at HQ
taken graciously by our visitors-----especially meaningful as many of
our own legends had travelled from afar for a reunion-----what a day for
them to return-----Simon Luxmore-Ball [Millfield, Clifton, Bath &
Somerset] from East Anglia very impressed with Fincks two against the
head------Peter Martin from Lancashire featured in the opening fixture
in 1976 against Willie John’s boys-----good to see his boy Jonny after
the game----he himself and brother Simon have served Clifton
well------Paul Smith up from Cornwall where he moved way back and
brought his own culture to the Redruth ranks-----Smithy was FD at the
Redruth brewery for some time----claims Newquay Steam Beer was his idea
but was educated into Doom Bar ways. 50 plus at the pre match lunch was
a PB for Rob Smith and fitting reward for his huge efforts.
We really must get the current players to learn and sing the Clifton
song-----“C L IF T O N ----WE ARE THE CLIFTON MEN”---REPEATED
ENDLESSLY-------someone please pass on the challenge to John Cannon who
was such a fine choir master --------Welsh tenor you know in the Cotham
Grammar School choir. Get him to explain how we used to play “dead
rats” as well-----whatever happened to left handed drinking?
Weather wise on the day the temperature outside the Stanley Hotel in
Nairobi was 25 degrees but much chillier with us. Bob Reeves had guests
from the Kenyan Paralympics delegation and Kenyan High Commission
visiting Bristol to prepare for their pre Olympic camp later in the
year. Great to have them with us and thanks to the willing souls who
gave them scarves, hats and gloves. Something different from their
beloved and well chilled Tusker lager is iced Doom Bar.
Check out the website www.bristolkenyanpartnership.com
To make it a club day match sponsor was the Bush Consultancy courtesy of our own Rob Davis and Martin Kendall.
Darren rightly named the entire squad as men of the match----his credit rating at the Clifton Sausage presumably remains high?
Probably the busiest post match bar this season and so good to have
recent and long past players making links. Several matrons of
residential care homes did however have curfews on some older guys and
younger players had homework to rush off to do.
On the road a terrific bonus point win at Lydney [spell check Sydney]
and a fine first half at Richmond show the boys to be on imperious
form. Darren promises “almost” his strongest team for the Barnes game.
New boy Sam Smith from UWE became man of the match at Lydney with a hat trick of tries---surely a first for the club on debut.
For modest bribes the PA announcer remains willing to credit the
attendance of girl friends, those receiving honours from Her Majesty,
Tom P rescuing horses a la War Horse on the A 4174[ask him about it!],
new babies etc etc-------my deep apologies to the player though with
three girl friends----such a shame they all turned up on the same day.
Press reports indicate that Ben Jordan really does want to relinquish
his duties------he has given such outstanding service in all ways and
whatever he will remain integral to the club. Perhaps Ben will come
over the pitch to join us in the Stand and away from the influence of
President Raine’s crowd below the score box?
Roger Opie - match day public announcer