I wanted to take the opportunity to wish all of you the very best for the New Year as we look forward to the second instalment of the season after the mid-winter break.
I hope you had a good break, that Santa was kind to you and that the goodwill washed over you ready for the games to come.
The end of last year's matches followed a similar pattern: I went to Gloucester–Hartpury to watch the women on the weekend before Christmas. The game started well and the team scored three tries one from Tysh Harper and then two from Ness Temple, and at half time we were just trailing 21-17. But in the second half, Gloucester-Hartpury pulled away and even what would have been a well-deserved try bonus point could not be garnered. On watching the first half I commented to Giles that the style and commitment of the team gave me hope we would pick up a positive result. Although it was not to be, I am sure a win against one of the top sides is coming.
The same weekend the Junior Colts did pick up both some game time and a good win at Chester by 38-22 and hopefully this will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season.
Boxing Day saw the annual Memorial Match against Crosby St Mary's who just shaded a competitive match. Congratulations to them, thanks to Paul Jenkins for refereeing the game and also to those who attended and contributed to a good afternoon catching up with old friends and also contributing to £1,500 raised during the week for the TEAM Sefton charity.
The following day another game linked to St Mary's School with old boys and not so old boys making use of the Club. It was great to see our Club so lively, good food supplied by Gillions fuelling an evening with a disco, I hope everyone enjoyed themselves, just bit too late for me to stay out.
The New Year draws us in, hopefully some of you can make it to the Club for a do-it yourself New Year. We supply the space and the drink and you supply the food and the fun. I hope all goes well.
On Saturday 5th January the Men's 1st team are visited by De La Salle. There will be a lunch before the 2.15 kick off for those who wish to join me, although January's WOPS lunch will be two weeks later. Let me know if you want lunch.
We can expect another tough game, the team, hopefully refreshed after Christmas, will be in no doubt of this, only just coming out on top at the away game. Come and support if you can.
Elsewhere, while the Women's team have a free weekend, the Men's seconds travel to Stockport to try and pick up winning ways and the Thirds travel to our friends at Southport for the traditional fixture the league kindly throws up. It has been good to see the numbers in the weeks before Christmas and hopefully the positives will continue, although space can always be found for one more player at any time!
On Sunday the juniors start again, with the Colts at home to Sandbach with a 12.30 kick off. Hopefully the Club will start to buzz with the usual Sunday activity now the Winter break is over.
One change that is upon us, and the reason I would offer to take calls for those looking for lunch this week, is that Andrea Davidson, who has worked at the Club for more years than she or I might like to count, leaves us this week. She has had the opportunity of another position and has taken it. I would like to wish her well in that regard and I am sure you would all want me to thank her on behalf of our Club for all her efforts over the years. It will be strange not to be saying "please contact Andrea in the office" and the keen-eyed website readers among you will have seen the invitation to apply for the role, to place a new name in the fine detail of attending or booking events. Although the person will change, the office is still contactable on the same number 0151 924 4552 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With our thanks to Andrea for her efforts I hope that I will see you all down on Saturday to further welcome in the New Year.