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)..

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wilmot at home

Grimsby Gentlemen 28: Wilnot Warthogs 20

Venue:  Alway Field with newly renovated clubhouse.

Referee:  Alistair Gabb (very young: I have older pairs of socks)- wearing an Uxbridge High School Tigers shirt but attending  MacMaster)

Weather:  After cooling down a bit from last week in Chatham it climbed right up there into the low thirties.

Attendance:  It was the official opening of the clubhouse after a year or so of renovations and the recognition day of fourty years since the founding of the Grimsby Rugby Club so we had standing room only (if you did not have a chair) and packed terraces.

standing room only

terraces packed
Greg Evans, Scott Nicholson (an original all the way from Nova Scotia) and John Fairclough (a player from 1983 to 1993) and someone else

more famous originals: Jim Van Roon and Wayne Scobie

 Team 1. Ross Matheson (60 min) 2. Brandan Vorstenbosch, 3. Jon Millington (60 min), 4.James Vienneau(45 min)5. Nick Lord and 40 min of prop , 6.  Martin Van Der Hurk , 7.  Dean Crozier (Kiwi I)l,  8. Vic Blaney ,  9. Austin Marck 42 min 10. Nick Lemieux (38 min), 10. Jake D"Achille (C) 11.Austin Marck (40 min - then to 9 for 30 min) 12.Will George 13. Derrick Weber , 14. James Peden  15. Cam Rhys 16. Nathan Bruch (10 min) 17 Dirk Reichow 40 min at flanker) 18 Chris Atkinson (20 min)19. Brad Vorsetenbosch(78 min), 22) Flipper (20 min)   

Game:   Cam kicked a penalty early but Wilnot went ahead on a good run by the fullback at about 23 minutes.  However at 30 minutes Can kicked his second penalty and we went into the second half with a slim lead.

Half time:  Grimsby Gentlemen 6: Wilmot Warthogs 5
Early in the second half Wilmot  scored a try under the posts to go up by six and five minutes later scored their third try to go up by eleven. However at fifteen minutes our comeback was started by Webs setting up Will to cross the line and score  under the posts. At thirty minutes a strong run by Cam led to an offload to Derrick for the try and we are ahead again.  However Wilmot comes back to score a penalty to regain the lead by two.  At thirty-five minutes Can slots a penalty to put us ahead for good and a late try by Vic and Cams second conversion results in an eight point win. 

Final:  Grimsby Gentlemen 28: Wilmot Warthogs 20

Well done, a famous come from behind win in front of the alumni (you cannot get better than that).  Great job by the backs, probably a toss up for man of the match between Derrick Weber and Cam Rhys.  Wilmot picked Cam because they know he cannot drink beer (we lost the beer off) but he scored thirteen points by the foot.  We picked Wilmot's eight man. 

Sassy touching down our first try
Webs going in with the second try
Vic heading for the final try
The team (and a couple of kids) 
I will write something about the 40th celebration soon ( as soon as I recover)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Chatham away

Gentlemen 0: Kent Havoc 36            


Venue:  215 Murray Street in Chatham (do not put in 215 Murray Street Chatham-Kent as you will be directed to Wallaceberg which is a whole other place).

Referee: John Weller from London.  Good job John.

Weather:  Kent always turns on the heat when Grimsby shows up. 32 degrees with a promise of thunderstorms which did not happen. (It was similar to last year but without the high humidity)

Attendance:  It was too hot for our supporters except for one( thanks to Nick Lord's dad: who we tried to get to play)

Team: 1. Nick Lord 2. Brendan Vorstenbosch, 3. Jon Millington, 4. Dirk Reichow, 5. James Vienneau, 6. M. Issing, 7. Chris Atkinson, 8. (wearing 7) Dean Crozier, 9. Austin Marck, 10. Jake D'Achille, 11. James Peden, 12. Vic Blaney, 13. Dakota Uhru, 14. Myron Jurychuk, 15. Will George.

Game:  On a warm day, the kick off for Kent did not go 10 and  the first of 5 scrums in the four minutes was called and since Grimsby was short a player in the scrum (we only had 14 players) we got pushed back all 5 serums.  Eventually got our hands on the ball and Dakota, as he likes to do,  took the ball for a hard run and injured his knee. He had to come off to be looked at.  This put us down to 13 players so at 10 minutes a kick to our depleted back line was not covered, and Kent scored in the corner. At about 14 minutes Kent managed a try between the posts and the overlap killed us with a return of a kickoff to the try line.  It looked like a rout was on but Dakota came back to the field and we managed to hold Kent and get into their end a couple of times.  We got some ball on our head and even stole a couple against and did well in the lineouts.  A penalty at 30 minutes from about thirty meters out was the only scoring in the rest of the half.

Half time: Grimsby Gentlemen 0: Kent Havoc 21

Kent was really interested in the bonus point and so did not give us a player until 10 minutes into the sceond quarter at which time they scored their fourth try.  Grimsby kept up the fight but heat, no subs, the long drive  and the effects of aging ligaments on some of the players meant we did not score at all but could have probably kicked a couple of penalties.  Kent scored with 25 minutes to go and put on all their fresh players.

Final: Grimsby Gentlemen 0: Kent Havoc 36.

Got no chance to play today

Dakota (with banged up knee) creating havoc with the Havoc
Thanks to those who made it to Chatham, you did well considering being down players, many of whom were playing out of position, no subs and the heat.  Congratulations to Dean who played several years younger and had a great time testing their defense at the rucks and who was recognized for it by being our man of the match.

Dean: deftly sidestepping between three opposition. 
We went back to the local Legion for cheap beer (old Vienna on draft just like Teddies) and very good lasagna. Austin was being annoying wanting the Legion ladies to remove all the mushrooms so one little old lady said if he ate a mushroom and went unconscious she would give him mouth to mouth. He ate all his mushrooms hoping and pretended to collapse. 

We ended the afternoon (at least I did for the ride home but Chris, Jon, Dean and Vic stayed the night which might take up a whole other blog; I am confident Chatham will survive) by singing the National Anthem  at the start of the live dancing music at the Legion ( I wish I didn't have to go home - dancing in the afternoon in the Legion - the place to be in Chatham.  Next time in Grimsby,  I pitch the song (it was too low) and we sing the politically correct version. 

Next up is Wilmot at home (our first home game) and our Fourtieth Anniversary Celebration with a day of flag players, an under 18 girl's game, an old boys game and Wilmot.  We will have music in the evening.

Grimsby Rugby: 
Building Gentlemen 
Since 1977

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Brantford at home

Game not played as Brantford had difficulty with players travelling (we had a team for a change- even though they quickly found something else to do rather than clean).  Some of the young 'uns had a do the night before and felt at 1:00 the next day they should not drive.
 Will be played Thursday July 21st.

Two new fans attended (pun intended)


Friday, June 3, 2016

Brantford away

Grimsby Gentlemen 12: Brantford Harlequins III37

Venue:  George Jones field in Brantford (actually near Brantford in farm country)

Referee: Ian Stewart (our personal ref)

Weather:  about 31 degrees at Kick off - felt like 38 (almost Chatham like).

Attendance: supporters must have had trouble finding the field as we have not been here for seven years.

Team:  1. Ross Matheson (60 min) 2. Brandan Vorstenbosch(I think), 3. Jon Millington (60 min), 4.James Vienneau(40 min)5. Nick Lord and 40 min of prop , 6.  Chris Atkinson (15 min- injury), 7.  Dean Crozier (Kiwi I)l,  8. Vic Blaney ,  9. Nick Lemieux (40 min), 10. Jake D"Achille (C) 11.Austin Marck (40 min - then to 9 for 30 min) 12.Will George 13. Cam Ruys (40 min then to fullback for 40 min), 14. James Peden (first rugby game ever- 40 min) 15. Derrick Weber (40 min)16. Nathan Bruch (20 min at flanker - didn't like lunch- first rugby game), 17 Dirk Reichow 40 min at flanker) 18 Dakota Uhru (40 min tackling at center - first senior men's game) , 19 Myron Jurychuk (40 min- first senior men's game), 20 Martin Van Den Hurk (55 min at flanker and lock)  21. Brad Vorsetenbosch(40 min at wing) and 22. Bob Mavrothalasitis (20 min at flank). You are still thinking of men in a shower aren't you.

James II (first rugby game ever)

Myron (first senior men's game)
Nathan (first game ever)

Dakota (first senior men's game)- that's Jon in the background pretending to be a Muslim terrorist (which is always funny until a bomb goes off)

Game:  Good turnout for an away game and with the new players and it  was mentioned a lot of good things happened.  It is too bad we met up with a put- together talented team which had a lot of experience. (Barkley Luke played several years with Canada 7s and 15s a little over 10 years ago.) However they did have some old guys (one player I played against so he was in his sixties).  The game kicked off (as usual) and a bit of mishandling on our part led to an early try by Brantford and for the next twenty minutes we managed to hold our own and get into their territory a little although they were moving the ball well against our defense. After the water break at 20 minutes we had a bit of a defensive breakdown and in the next ten they scored three times.  During the half Jake had a good run but a weak pass stopped the break and Will had a great run near the end of the half that ran out of gas due to little support.

Half time score:  Grimsby Gentlemen 0: Brantford Harlequins 22

The expected comeback in the second half was overshadowed by their score with 35 minutes left in the half but about 5 minutes later the water inspector (formerly known as Nick Lord)  managed to touch down to put us on the board (I assume someone was keeping  track on the board - I forgot to look).  We kept at it with some great hard tackling by Dakota and Vic which made a couple of players wish they had gone with the firsts to Fletcher's. But about 15 minutes later Brantford, after some deft passing, touched down in the corner. We mustered an attack and Vic scored down over some very old guy and  Cam got the conversion.  The scoring was finished by Brantford with a try at time.  Brantford got 7 tries and we got 2.  They moved the ball well and we did not cover well.

Man of the match for Brantford was Barckley Luke amd they choose Vic Blaney (who got to keep the glass)

Next up Brantford again 00ps sorry Brantford cannot bring a team, good luck in Bruce this year. We will do a club cleanup this Saturday and have an friendly with ourselves.  Bring a towel as the magician reports showers will be ready.  Next game away in Chatham.

the stuff of magic
the magician

ball eating tree

Take that 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Grimsby Gentlemen 36: Etobicoke RFC 17             EtobicokeRFC

 First game of our fourtieth season and our new shirts have one win in them.                                                                                
Venue: Alway Field (at our almost finished change rooms)
Alway Field (lost ball's view)
These are the almost done showers.  Just imagine a number of hot, sweaty, dirty rugby players cavorting in the cool, cleaning and refreshing waters.  Now take that image and hide it deep within your soul and never think if it again.
Anyone wishing to copy our change room colour scheme: Coastal Path with Burnt Ember Accents

Referee: Peter Ragell (all the way from Markham) - good job Peter

Weather:  cooler than expected with a damp field

Sponsors: Thanks Steamwhistle and Milli

Attendance: A small mob (very small) but enthused to be out watching rugby again.  And there was one gentlemen who was upset that the 2015 season schedule was up on the website and not the 2016.   As president of the club I was personally shocked that such a thing could happen - usually the website is at least three years behind.(It is a good thing as it looks like the schedule will change again)

Team:  1. Ross Matheson (60 min) 2. Brandan Vorstenbosch(I think), 3. Jon Millington (60 min), 4.Dirk Reichow (40 min)5. Vic Blaney (55 min), 6.  Chris Atkinson (40 min), 7.  Dean Crozier (Kiwi I)l,  8. Adam Meehan (55 min) ,  9. Nick Lemieux (80 min but tried to shorten it), 10. Jake D"Achille (C) 11.(disguised as 22)James Vienneau (40 min) 12.Will George 13. Ian Singleton (brought up from the Niagara farm club for this game), 14. Brad Vorsetnbosch?? 15. Cam Ruys 16. Ryan Cooms(40 min), 17 Stephan Johnson(40 min), 18 Layton Hipfner(40 min), 19 Dan Figgs(40 min) and 20. Martin Van Der Hurk (40 min). Stop thinking of men in the shower.

Now if you are a regular reader, I am sure you are  astonished that Grimsby had 20 players for a pre-season friendly but actually 13, 16, 17, 18 and 19 were brought from our local farm club - the Niagara Wasps (thanks for the help guys).  The members are astonished we had 15 registered players for the game. We did have two players watching - James II and Austin (thanks for running the lines Austin).
Ian, Ryan, Layton, Dan and Stephan (thanks guys)
Game:    The game started with a kick-off (as usual) and we were immediately under pressure as they had some good straight forward (and heavy) runners so they touched down at the edge after about 10 minutes.  We kicked off after the unconverted try (as usual) and they again put us under pressure and a long kick was fielded by the fullback Cameron running back toward our line with pressure on him so he ran in to the try zone and either tried to kick the ball so that it bounced off the upright and back over the dead ball line or, probably more likely,tried to clear it through the uprights and into touch (not impossible as Cam has a great kick).  However neither happened as the ball glanced off the posts onto the field of play and Etobicoke picked it up to touch down at about 13 minutes gone in the game. It looked like it would be a difficult game and the rest of the half was.  We managed to keep them from scoring the rest of the half as our offense warmed up.

Half time score  Grimsby Gentlemen 0 : Etobicoke Invictus 10

The second half (against the wind) was a different game (said the astonished referee) but we had some secret Niagara weapons.  The half started with a kick off (no change there) but we put them under pressure and within 5 minutes Vic has scored in the corner in front of the fans (This has been recently changed due to T.V. replay and Vic offloaded to Dean who actually scored). This seemed to get us going as our scrum was providing good ball and we were wining our lineouts) and at about 10 minutes Jake takes a loop pass and scores in the other corner in front of the dead trees. Cam (who was annoyed at the first kick) slots the two points from a fair distance out.The nice thing about our field is that you are never too far from the posts. That kick put us in the lead for the first time and two minutes later, Cam boots a 35 m penalty and we take off.  A few misunderstandings between certain players of the teams (possibly language difficulties) leads to Etobicoke making a counter kick from their end zone right up the middle to Cam who was not to be denied as he ran through much of their team (It took him six games to score last year). He kicked his own conversion.    

At this point my concentration kind of gets lost and stuff happenes so Ryan Cooms scores in the corner at  about 25 minutes and Dan Figgs scores at about 30.  Cam converts both and they were not easy kicks.  
So far Cam 16 : Etobicoke 10.  With a couple of minutes to go Etobicoke are within 5 meters and we are lazy and end giving up a penalty try (I think it was Cam)  Cam 16: Etobicoke 17.

Good game by a number of people considering it was the first in awhile and there were a lot of players who had not played together in  awhile.  Chris has not played in a number of years, Dean came back from New Zealand to play for us, Will took a year off playing for some other team and Brad has been working on his boxing technique for a couple.  Welcome back we missed you all. .  

Dean (Kiwi I)
Returnees Brad  (Snake Jr): and Will  (Sassy) - As James II mentioned you have to learn the name of the players and their nicknames.
Chris (no nickname that I know of yet) If Chris looks fuzzy it is because he drinks.
We had a delightful beer up thanks to Steamwhistle and Vic.  Beer and peameal bacon.  Life is good.
Cam was chosen man of the match - well done even if you did hit an upright from behind the goal. 

There was a suggest that these signs were "ghetto" but I consider them simple, cheap and not pretentious
a little of the action

Cam's try
pre game meeting to admire the changerooms led by new captain Jake D'Achille
(for the last time stop thinking of naked men)

Breaking news:  We may be changing leagues so keep tuned in.