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)..

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)