Contest went back and forth: Bottle Kicking post match analysis by Charlie Daisley Smith
IT WAS not such a happy Easter for Hallaton.
With the weather against us from the start, it was looking as though this year’s battle might be a bit of a wash-out. But, as always, the conditions did not dampen the hardier Bottle Kickers or supporters.
Spirits were lifted by an excellent service at Hallaton Church, a great talk by Phil “Pinny” Allan and the congregation singing an enthusing, Onward Christian Soldiers – indeed we were, marching as to war!
The tournament started under heavy skies but a temporary stop for rain meant the first barrel started in more appropriate weather conditions.
Inappropriately – to some however – was the direction the barrel took almost immediately. Over three fields, Medbourne managed to successfully manoeuvre the barrel towards their boundary, being slowed and tackled by the defending Hallatonians.
But the barrel was secured by Medbourne’s force, strongly led by the Burrows family.
The second barrel was far quicker than the first and took an early direction towards the Hallaton boundary, zig-zagging across the field but in a downwards direction.
Fantastic breaks were made by key players including Ste Marlow, Chris Potter and Karl Sharman and “Moonhead” who took the glory of landing the barrel at Hallaton’s goal.
The third and deciding barrel started just as the heavens opened.
There seemed to be more numbers in Medbourne’s favour and their game plan was remarkable – but this did not faze the Hallaton players. For the first time in years, the third barrel took the route of Love Lane; it looked as though it might go the whole way by the path but a breakaway took it into a neighbouring field. The direction was constantly being challenged and attempts to bring the barrel in Hallaton’s way never weakened.
One of the best tackles made in terrific rugby style was by Master of the Stowe, David Marlow, another made by newcomer Ant Hopkins.
Despite all attempts made, Hallaton had to concede defeat shortly after 6.30pm when Medbourne’s Tom Jefferson managed to land the barrel. Some say the reason for a Hallaton loss was the absence of some familiar faces, some say Medbourne played a harder game while some say it was the weather. I’m not sure about any of this but what I know is that, sadly it’s over for another year. I know the Hallaton boys will be hungry to take back what is rightfully theirs next year.
I’ve seen what the next generation will be in the form of Ben but as he’s a Marlow what else would you expect?
The Mail would like to thank Charlie for her enlightening and entertaining reports over the past fortnight.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Market Harborough
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west