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Friday Feeling – 4th March 2022

After last week’s win on the road against Tonbridge Juddians, the Ravers return to Paton Field for a match (3 p.m. kick off) against one of the really big clubs in National 1, Plymouth Albion.

Surprisingly, Albion have found themselves at the wrong end of the table for much of this season but after last week’s win against Blackheath they will be determined to leave the Wirral with a victory to lift themselves clear of any trouble.

Albion’s commercial manager Chris Bentley has enjoyed an extraordinarily successful senior rugby career with New Brighton, Orrell, Tasman Mako in New Zealand (where he partnered All Black Chris Jack in the second row) Biarritz, Edinburgh and finally in the Premiership with Exeter. This illustrious rugby career started in the minis at Caldy’s Paton Field as Chris Bentley described in a recent article in the Plymouth Herald.

“After a difficult start to the season by Plymouth Albion it was beginning to look much better when my old club Caldy came to the Brickfields late in October. I was pleased to see how well Caldy played, but disappointed that they beat us 26-7 on our turf. I started my rugby career as a young lad playing mini rugby at Caldy. For those who do not know that region, Caldy is located in the semi-rural community of West Kirby on the Wirral. In the last census West Kirby recorded a population of just 12,733, some quarter of a million less than Plymouth, who recorded a population of 262,100 in the last census.

Caldy is a lovely club with a great youth section. They have a 16-acre site on National Trust property that features three pitches and an ageing single story wooden club house backing onto protected woodlands and greenfield parkland.

In my time at Caldy we were effectively a junior club playing in the shadow of our illustrious neighbours New Brighton and Birkenhead Park.

Caldy currently have no stands or spectator accommodation other than a little terracing and a few park benches on a raised grassy area facing the first team pitch.

My old friend Matty Cairns is Caldy’s director of rugby, he has taken his team to challenge for league honours on a shoestring budget and far less facilities than we have here at the Brickfields.

We learned to our cost that Caldy have that unity of spirit, belief, and confidence that they can compete with the best in this league. I think we might just have a few lessons to learn on this front.”

Acknowledgements to Chris Bentley and the Plymouth Herald

Caldy will need to match Plymouth Albion’s commitment and concentration if they are to keep their winning run going. Head Coach Matt Cairns has selected the following side for the match at Paton Field which kicks off at 3 p.m.

1.Aigbokhae 2. Hearn 3. Rushton 4. Dickinson S 5. Gerrard 6. Crowe 7. Ridgway 8. Dickinson JJ 9. Murray 10. Hinchcliffe 11. Jones B 12. Barlow 13. Cartmill 14. Royle 15. Gourlay 16. Clarke 17. Higginson 18. Jones D 19. Davidson 20. Titherington

After last week’s semi-final 47-26 away win at Chester in the NOWIRUL Cup, Caldy’s record breaking 2nd xv have a home league match at Paton Field against Rossendale which kicks off at 2.15.

With two outstanding games at home on Saturday it is important that spectators coming to Paton Field, park in the confines of Paton Field so as not to cause any issues for our neighbours in Pikes Hey Road. In the last home fixture against Cambridge Pike’s Hey Road became congested and delivery drivers were unable to access Pike’s Hey. Please be considerate to our neighbours in Pikes Hey Road.

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