Sunday, 18 December 2011

Stopped by a Wall called Bancroft

After 2 successful home games on Millwall Park, we set off to play Bancroft on their home turf. After successfully loading the cars (without exceeding the weight limit) we set off to face the opposition. Thankfully I did not have to re-live the car drive where I had 3 topless men in the back seat, screaming flirtatious (borderline obscene) comments to men and women alike out the window while driving through Soho - during GAY PRIDE. (I was never so tempted to just dump them right there and then).
Luckily, Shaf, Tank and Ollie were still dressed and on their best behaviour when we arrived at Bancroft.
After their usual warm up session and warm up drills, it was time to get the game sta

In the first few minutes we definitely went into the right direction - towards Bancroft's try line. However, after a blocked kick from Ollie, Bancroft was in possession of the ball and being a little bit taken by surprise they used our "in-a-state-of-shock-moment" and managed to score their first try. Unfortunately Bancroft crossed our try line a lot more often than we would have liked and at half time we trailed 33 to nothing.

However, the score could have been a lot worse if not for the many try-saving tackles by Millwall. Our defence right in front of our try line was good - which we proved many times. But against a well organised and well drilled opposition and constantly being under pressure there were moments where the opposition just managed to fight their way through it.
After a motivating talk from Dave Roberts at half time, the team went into the second half with a heightened spirit - and it showed on the pitch. However, Bancroft did not wait too long to put another try onto their scoreboard. But we were determined to not give Bancroft the satisfaction of beating us to nil. No way!

A kick from Millwall was caught by James Wakefield. He saw a gap and took off. It took several Bancroft players and tackles to finally bring him down just a few metres short of the try line. Before the opposition had the time to grab the ball, James offloaded it to Dave Ledger. Bancrofts' "zoom-in-on-the-target" eyes quickly shifted onto Dave. But unable to stop Millwall this time - not even with an an ankle tap - he managed to get the ball over the try line and scored Millwall's first (and unfortunately) only try in this game. Tom Clarke's successful conversion brought us up to 7 points.

A good starting point for scoring a try is to have the ball in one's possession. However, not having the ball to begin with is not that much of a problem if you have mean people in your team who just know how to steal the ball out of their opponent's arms. However, if you are successful, do not feel guilty afterwards. It is allowed and the legal implications that you might face off the pitch for "stealing" do not apply on the pitch. Therefore, if you steal the ball, you keep it. Be mean! Don't give it back!
I do unde
rstand that watching our side win is a lot more rewarding - but watching them putting in the effort and not giving up is still very enjoyable. So why exactely did Tim McDonagh feel the need to hide?

Playing Bancroft might have been one of the toughest and hardest games
Millwall had to face - and playing against an opposition that is as organised as Bancroft is always difficult. However, from a supporter's (and complete lay(wo)man) point of view I thought we didn't play bad at all. Admittedly, there are always things we can improve on - and I am sure we will. When Bancroft comes to play at Millwall next year, we will be ready to break through their wall. So that next time we can reverse Saturday's final score of Bancroft 53 - Milllwall 7.

Because we can do it!

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