FINAL EDITION OF THE SEASON !!
B, C, D —— AND THE ULSTER ACADEMY BACKSTOP

Beef – note the ‘B’ – was the main course served at the final home pre-match
lunch of the season. At least it was for the majority of the large attendance and
it looked very nice.
Can’t say how it tasted, because it by-passed The Plebs Table and when lunch
was served to the four ‘Plebs’ it was Chicken – note the ‘C’. I saw in this a bad
omen. We had been relegated from ‘B’ to ‘C’ at the Plebs Table and I was
rather concerned that the letter ‘D’ for ‘doomed’ might be following…
Belshazzar’s feast, or the story of the ‘writing on the wall’ (Chapter 5 in the
Book of Daniel) came to mind, though in our case it was at this stage being
“writ metaphorically”.
I consulted with the Oracle. He was positive. We would win. I was, at least
partially, reassured.
However, by half-time the writing on the scoreboard seemed to herald the ‘D’
word and so it proved by full-time.
“What are you going to write about that…?” was a question raised during the
trudge towards whatever sustenance could be obtained within the club
portals…
I found it difficult to understand how, in the match a fortnight before, the Well
amassed 55 points but conceded almost the same this time against Belfast
Harlequins who were just one place above us but, in their performance had
belied their status amongst the bottom-placed occupants of Division 2B. They
were clinical in their destruction of the Well.
So I resorted to ‘engaging’ with the Northern people as to how their team
played to such a high standard.
Lo and behold — a story emerged about Ulster Rugby registering Academy
Players for AIL duties and providing assistance to Northern teams in need of
such at particular times of the season! As I assembled the nuance of what I
heard from more than one account, the Well could have been faced by seven
or eight Academy players. So club, amateur players from their working week,
faced semi-professionals.
This seemed to me like a ‘Backstop’- a word that has come into the general
lexicon these past months. In this case an Ulster Rugby ‘back-up’ that was
certainly a ‘back-stop’ for the Well at the final home match.
Defeats, with which we are unfortunately familiar this season, have to be
accepted and graciously so we did, but I can’t help feeling that in club rugby
this is a little unequal.

With one match to go at Sligo ‘R’ is now the letter of concern for ….
Relegated.
Let’s not despair…’ back/stop’ beaten we may be – but the focus should now
be on ‘back up’ for next season…….

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Comments (1)

  1. SWRFC

    Reply

    Belfast Harlequins RFC have assured us that they have no academy players on their panel and SWRFC would like to correct the views expressed in this article and apologise for any misunderstanding.

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