While I was thinking of how I could deal with everything that seems to be happening at present my mind, a little capriciously, went back to an Easter Monday 1987 or 1988.
I was captaining the Second Team with both First and Second Team playing Leicester away. Given the time of year and the opposition quite a few First and Second team players could not travel and the team we fielded had quite a few debutants. It was a team full of youthful potential, but untested, or old and far too tested. All brilliant guys and some really good friends from rugby, which I guess is why they travelled. As the game approached I looked to the few regulars for support but, just as I was about to address the team with a final inspirational team talk, one of them, Leigh Tarleton, said to the other, Gary Kearns, in a somewhat deflating way "I have got to listen to this I can't wait to hear what he's going to try and tell us today…"
I feel my reader steeling themselves in a similar way. To be fair, the way events are unfolding is hard to keep pace with. A week ago Mr Johnson was saying this is serious but carry on as much as you can as usual so games were on last weekend and then on Monday everything stopped on the sporting front and we were encouraged not to meet in effect.
The problem is a virus not fully understood that has caused havoc in many countries and carries the threat to do so here, the only thing that seems uncertain is the extent of threat. I think I read that Jurgen Klopp said that sport is the most important of the unimportant things for a lot of us and for now we focus on the important things like health.
There was rugby last week, the Men's first suffered a frustrating defeat at the hands of relegation threatened Bowdon who were fighting in a similar way to us last year and just came out on top in fairly miserable weather. Although not the way you would want to sign off, if that is what we did, it should not take the gloss off some very impressive performances this season with everyone playing their part.
The Seconds finished their season with a flourish extracting a degree of satisfaction avenging an earlier defeat by Stockport and finish a creditable second in their conference. I hear there were a few familiar unfamiliar faces turning out which is great to hear. The Thirds without playing also finished a very impressive third place in what was a tough and varied league, credit to Andy and Dave and all the players for achieving a near perfect position and playing almost all your games. I would take my cap off to you if it wasn't for the cold.
The Women did not have the chance to leave Six Nations inactivity and finish the season with a flourish, I appreciate technically it is not finished. There is again uncertainty over next season but I have thanked the players and their coaches and management for all their efforts both on and off the pitch and will happily do so again if the chance of more games arises.
On Sunday I caught sections of both an exciting Under 14 Lancashire Cup win against Warrington 19-17 and an impressive win by the Under 16s against Liverpool St Helens and had news of a great win by the Colts against the amalgamated Manchester/ Stockport side Makos. You will have seen this takes them to their eighth Lancashire Cup final, a brilliant achievement, well done. Let us hope, if it is safe and sensible, they each can finish the tournaments off but a great effort this season by all age groups. Thank you, please keep it up.
I would mention again a point made by Dominic that if there is help or support the Club can supply then please ask. We can, if nothing else, organise contact, possibly help making deliveries. One of the reasons for being part of the Club is what you can give and share with it and what others in it can give and share with you so don't be shy.
To finish on a lighter rugby note I return to Easter Monday 1987/88 and our game against Leicester. The game started and to the pleasant surprise of all of us, despite being under pressure for 10 minutes, we responded with a five minute purple patch that led to two converted tries for a very young Jason Ashcroft to give us a lead. As he converted the second try Leigh Tarleton said to the ref, "Would that be half time then sir?" Although the answer was no, it is a bit of that "humour" we all need to keep in us while we deal with the current issues.
Good luck and stay well.