Monday, May 28, 2018

Crusaders at Home

After a poor season last year the writer of this blog took some time off but is back (we think)  to report obn the goings on of the club..  I will catch up on some things that have happened since last year later. This is the first game of the 42nd season since Grimsby Gentlemen started in 1977.

Grimsby Gentlemen 33: Oakville Crusaders IV 59 (or something like that)

Venue:  the hallowed grounds of Alway School - kick off at 3:00

Referee:  Steve Scott

Weather: Warm 28 degrees (feel like 32) a bit breezey especially when you were playing into it in the second half

Attendance:  we drank one and a half kegs, so whatever that works out to.

Ball sponsored by Wayne Hoskins of Bedwas Wales (I think we used the same ball the whole game - usually we loose one in the undergrowth and we find it next winter)

Team:  At 9:00 in the morning we had 10 players registered but with traditional last minute suspense we managed to field exactly 15 by game time.

1. Nick Lord ,2. Sean Inglis (first game with Grimsby), 3. Chris Atkinson. 4. Martin Van Den Hurk, 5. Thomas Davis (first game with Grimsby men - at Blessed Trinity High School, 6. Brenden Vorstenbosch 7. John Fraser, 8. Evan Brundatge, 9. Daniel Prentice-Chowen (Blessed Trinity high school player), 10. Ben Jeske, 11. Joe Sanders, 12. Glenn Butler (Blessed Trinity player - first game with Grimsby men, 13. Cameron Ruys, 14. James Vienneau, 15. Gehard Swart (first game for Grimsby and from South Africa. (no subs)

Ten of these players did not play for the club two years ago. so it has been a bit of a turnover in the last couple of years..

Gehard (Gerry)Swart

Glenn Butler (18 points)
Thomas Davis (had a couple of nice runs)

Sean Inglis
We started well with a great kick off by Glenn which was knocked on by Cru and we kept it alive so that Dan could pick and go from a couple of meters out to score the first try at about 3 minutes.  Glenn converted.  Oakville had a stronger pack and pushed us around in the scrums and rucks and they eventually scored at about ten minutes.  Oakville was looking good with timely offloads and although we were making tackles they scored converted tries at 17 min and 25 minutes. We came  back  within one try when Glenn touched down at about 32 minutes but the Cru managed to work the ball into our end and scored another try off a quick tap at about 35 minutes.

 Half time score Grimsby Gentlemtn 14 and Oakville Crusaders 28

We had a couple of injuries (no subs remember) so Oakville eventually gave us a couple of forwards. Oakville scored again at 45 min and 55 min.  Dan picked off an errant pass and ran 60 meters for our third try and Glenn scored again at about 70 min withh Nick touching down at 72 min. Glenn made all the conversions except the last one which was at a difficult angle. Meanwhile the Cru scored at 65min, 67 min and one more at 75 min. Their kicker only missed one convert.

The game ended with some argey-bargey but generally it was a good first game for us against an experienced bunch of players. Glenn Butler was picked by the Cru as man of the match.

Our caped argee-barger (nice 'stach)

We scored 33 points with Glenn getting 18 points and Dan getting 10.  We might have had a couple more except for the slippery ball.

Dan going for a run with Glenn in support

Dan's grandparents checking out his play.

Glenn adding the points after
 We need to get a few more players out to practice as we are not fit nor do we know the systems.

The brain trust

We hung these in the visitor's changeroom for a bit of a psychological edge. 

The infirmary

Next game is a surprise as London does not seem to have a third team and we have been invited by Niagara to play against a Welsh touring side from  Nelson in Wales. They will be good but it will be hot for them and they will be very hungover (not like us)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Burlington tournament April 29th

Aside from being a very wet spring it has not be a good one for numbers with the club. We played in a tournament in Burlington on April 29th and since the playing insurance was paid we retrieved a number of players (because we needed the numbers) for one day and added a few new ones.

Ian played his first game for the club after many years away from the game.

Tom played his first game for Grimsby since High School and got injured (ribs, sternum)on the first play (played for the next three games), but has not been able to play since.  

Ben Jeske played his first game for the club and the first in several years (Ben is from Edmonton and is the brother of former Gentlemen Jon Jeske)

Erick, Sam and Duncan came from London and Mississauga to play.  They played for the club two years ago but now are busy working and playing that other code (rugby league)

Other guest players were Adam who occasionally plays with us and Tom a big prop from the military.  The front row of  Tom (army) Vic and Nick as a sight to behold. We felt this was just for fun and did not keep score but the other teams did and we did not win the tournament. 

Good time overall. 

Club Dinner 2016

This year the 2016 Club Dinner was held in 2017. We get things done - but slowly.

Thirty-five attended and had a good time but not so good we had to carry anyone home (although many were picked up and driven home).
Older players who are smart enough not to play anymore (except Chris)

Katie is a little bored (this is her second year)

Vic is wondering why is is standing alone at the bar. 

The annual awards:
Rookie of the Year went to Myron Jurychuk who learned the game quickly and whose claim to fame is that he is the member who lives closest to the club (he also built the new shelves and drawers in the bar).


Most improved went to Will George one of our centers. This was Will's second year with the club with a year with our farm team (Stoney Creek) in between, This award was presented by our club manager Ross Matheson.

Will and Ross
Player of the year went to our Captain Jake D'Achille who took over the 10 position and did very well.  He was away at school in Peterborough so Ross drank his beer. 

Clubman of the year was presented to Chris Atkinson, who after many years away returned at stepped into the Secretary role with the club and worked very hard on the 40th anniversary. 

Thanks Chris.
 Our unanimous selection for Deer's Rear (doing the most silly or awkward thing on the field) was unable to be there but got his award for attempting a pick and go from the base of a ruck on the one meter line but forgetting to check on the opposing forwards.  He went to the side with both their props and the next ruck was five meters back.  Well done Austin.

Kyle and Bob of the famous Bob-Kyle Awards gives James I his Miss Congeniality award (the chain of pink hearts)
James I got the Miss Congeniality award for almost getting a red card (it would have been our first in years) - get got the card and was sent off but the ref (new) found out how much work it was to red card someone and did not report it.  In a sport of roughness James was a little too rough.

The members who "carried" Frank for years

Sunday, April 2, 2017

New Year's Touch

 The annoying tradition of playing touch early(?) on New Year's Day continued for 2017.  We had a new record for the turnout with thirty players (eventually), multitudes of fans and seven chili dishes. It was a bit cold (around 3 degrees) with a light dusting of snow at kick off .

spectators on the lower tier (standing room only)

spectators on the upper tier
spectators on the field
Only one in shorts
Milli was out and played (with a severed Achilles tendon (learned later)
A few celebs in action

A record of six chili dishes and a potato soup (Myron's fault).

Chili contest award winner Alex Millar

Our blog as of January 1st had 41 739 hits compared to 32 209  on Jan 1st of 2016 which is an increase of 9530 hits over the year which is about 1000 more than in 2015.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

AGM 2016

We held the AGM to go over 2016 and to elect the officers for 2017.  Ten people attended the meeting (one on the phone) and discussion were had on the anniversary weekend, our finances and attracting new players.

The executive for 2017.

President:  Bill Stuart (again)
Secretary: Chris Atkinson (re-elected)
Treasurer: Nick Lemieux (re-elected)
Social Secretary: Vic Blaney (re-elected)
Club Manager: James Vienneau (Ross Matheson declined to run again this year so James took on this portfolio as well as the Junior Programs)
Club House Manager: Brendan Vorstenbosch
Junior Secretary: James Vienneau.

2016: The good, the bad and the rugby

I guess its time to review the outcome for the summer.  After we defeated Wilmot on our 40th anniversary event (that's two in a row against Wilmot), we went to Burlington to take on their seconds.  I was not able to be at the game but Grimsby did well just losing by 5 (33 to 28).  It is always tricky when playing clubs who have more than one team playing at home, they keep bringing on fresh players although it is against the NRU playing regulations.  Anyway we scored four tries and came within 7 points for two bonus points. Try scorers were  Austin (his first as a Gentlemen, I think), off a neat move from a ruck, Myron (his first) and two by Jake.  Conversions were by Will.

We than went to Norfolk (I got there into the second half) just in time to see Jon make a strong run but then tackled by four players.  He went off with an ankle injury and has not returned.  He joined the other three players who were off (we only took 17 in total) so were were very short.  Vic got the first yellow of the season and we were even shorter.  Needless to say it was nice to end that game (to the eventual undefeated league winners) and get out of Waterford.  Jake was selected by them as the man of the match.

Because we were all beat up and had three of our four front row out injured we asked Stratford for a postponement which they agreed to and also agreed to come to us on a Thursday.  So on Thursday July 28th we played Stratford at home.  We borrowed a few Niagara players, (Dan, Ian and Stephan) but  even then we were up against a very good Stratford team with a couple of players over from a university in England.  They managed to pile a number of tries on us before it got dark with only Dean able to score a try for Grimsby along with a penalty by Will. Stratford had only won one of their first five games until they beat Burlington by 80, us by 76 and Bruce by 78.

We were due to play Bruce the next game at home but they asked to postpone the game to August 27 because of an issue with one of their players (moving up a wedding because of an ilness).  Although we knew we would lose our captain Jake to university we agreed to the postponement.

This led us to the original last game of the season against Niagara II to be played at home.  When St Catharines joined up with Niagara we continued playing the Brooker Cup against which ever team we were in the same league with.  The game should have been played in Niagara but since the schedule had the game in Grimsby we played it in Grimsby but on  Thursday August 18th (they were having problems with numbers and could not put three teams out on the Saturday).  We agreed to play it (otherwise we would not have gotten a game) and they did not stack their team very much.  We still had problems with numbers and ended up with only 14 to start (this was mainly due to backups on the highway) and they scored before we could get our 15th player on.  The score ended up being a loss 15 to 7 (we had a chance to kick a penalty but it was 20 m out and they wanted to run it - that would have given us a bonus point in the standings and we would have beaten Wilmot and tied Niagara in the standings)

The last game was played against Bruce on Saturday August 27 and they were weak (they only had 15 players in total).  We were missing our Captain (Jake) but managed to put a team together and got off to a good start.  James Peden a first year player in Grimsby and new to rugby scored his first try of the season.  Will kicked a penalty and we withstood an attack on the goal line for a number of minutes.  Ross scored at about 25 minutes so the half time score was 13 - 5.  We scored three more time in the second and they scored twice.  Final score 34 to 21.  Nice way to finish the season.

During the season we had four wins (Wilmot at home on the fourtieth anniversary weekend, Brice in the last game and two games against Brantford by default).  We got beat up a couple of times and could not field a team for the away game in Windsor.  We need to concentrate on getting more players for next year.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fourty of Fourty for the fourty on the Fourty

Fourty (about) shots of Fourty Whiskey to celebrate fourty years of rugby in the Fourty (Grimsby) - thank you James.

According to an article on March 23, 1977 in the Grimsby Independent Tony Evans, Derrick Harries and Doug Watson? were developing a team of high school players from Grimsby High School to play rugby that spring.  In a conversation I had with Derrick Harries (I don't remember where or why) he mentioned the formation of the team and that he wanted to call the team the Grimsby Gentlemen Rugby Football Club.  I really did not think much of that name for a sports team (perhaps a strip club) but told him it sounded great. And so fourty years ago the GGRFC was born as a junior team playing high schools and a few other exhibition games (our colours are the same as GSS) and is playing today although it has not been a continuous history.  The team went into hibernation for a couple of years but somehow was resurrected by a few players who felt it was important to have a rugby team in Grimsby. Life members Chris Atkinson, Bill Stabler and Paul Rohner all played an important part in keeping the team going. Thanks to all who helped to move the ball down the field (even a little bit) to get us to this point of opening our renovated clubhouse (which surprised many of the old boys who have come to the club for the first time).
I remember meeting with Bill Curtis, President of the NRU at the time(the early eighties), and Bob Hepburn (Bob was a teenager) because he wanted to put the Grimsby team into the senior men's division. I was also there in the late nineties when Chris Atkinson stood up a practice and said we had a chance to get the old Alway school for a club house and there was enough room for a field in the back.  He needed a commitment from the members to be able to work on the place.  (Little did I know the amount of time I would spend there).
In other but less interesting news from 1977, Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister, Bill Davis was Premier and Bob Arkell was Mayor and Jimmy Carter was the American president.  The Toronto Blue Jays played their first season, Montreal won the Stanley Cup, and the Hamilton Hornets won the Ontario Senior Men's Championship by defeating Balmy Beach in the last game of the season. Roman O'Gara and Tonya Verbeek were born and Elvis died.  The minimum wage in Ontario was $2.65. The Roxy Theater in Grimsby was still standing and "Star Wars" was released along with "Saturday Night Fever", "Rocky" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

Jimmy Buffet recorded "Margaritaville", the Village People "YMCA", the Eagles "Hotel California and New Kid in Town", and Stevie Wonder "I Wish". The Sex Pistols started the punk rock era.

The viral disease smallpox was declared eradicated by the World Health Organization but Dr. Grethe Rask from Denmark died of Pneumocystis carinii (most likely the first documented case of probable viral AIDS infection).

Voyager I and Voyager II were launched as unmanned satellites to explore the outer solar system and are still going strong as is the Grimsby Gentlemen Rugby Football Club.

On Saturday May 18th we celebrated this fourtieth year by having a kids flag tournament, officially opening the renovated club house, playing a Flag Forever (older players flag rugby), a old timers game and the men's league game against Wilmot (see last entry). Music was played in the evening by Phil Rose and later Craig Roberts and Mike Van Donegan (Two Sheets to the Wind) with guest drummer Peter Griffin.

"Played a rugby club on Father's Day so I took my dad's ball to keep me company."
Peter adds: "I played a rugby club on Father's day so I took my dad's ball to keep me company".
some flaggers before they grow up

and start drinking

Niagara Flag rugby (treasurer Eric Smith and president Caleb Smith) supported the Gentlemen with an anniversary donation.  Thank you gentlemen.

Flag Forever Exhibitors
    old boys players (who played with themselves)

A couple of members  were honoured at the official opening of the renovated club. In the past year or so, Brendan Vorstenbosch and Nick Lemieux both have worked so hard to get the club to the point where we could open at this time.  Brendan did all the plumbing (water heaters, toilets and sinks) and Nick (woodwork and painting) and led the initiative to get the Trillium grant.  .  

Well done Gentlemen
Eric Mitchinson from Trillium cutting the ribbon with Nick
Thanks for all you do Trillium. 
Thanks to the builders who came out.

And one rugby leaguer from Britain.
Fiona, one of the original women member, came back to two fist it.

Erin and Kaley kept the bar running
    players and former players 
     A shout out to Scott Nicholson who came all the way from Nova Scotia to be with us at this time. Thanks to Annemaree Peters who attended as president of the Niagara Rugby Union. 
    Dean brought Tara to celebrate their eighth anniversary (I thought that was a great idea so it probably wasn't)
    We have decided at other celebrations like this at midnight all sources of toilet paper and flame will be confiscated. 

    Oh yeah- in 1977 a try was worth four points (so you had to score more often)..