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That Friday Feeling – 17th November 2023

Last weekend was a free weekend for Championship clubs, which enabled Caldy’s venerable President Graham Armitage and his travelling companions to rest up ahead of this weekend’s mammoth trek to Penzance to play the Cornish Pirates on Saturday afternoon.

“There is a huge amount involved in such an undertaking but with lessons learned from last season we have prepared more robustly for this trip” explained Armitage. “The logistics are difficult enough for the players having to organise work commitments etc to try and get on the road for 4 pm on Friday but it doesn’t stop there. Johnny Butler has to ensure that the refreshments for Caldy’s travelling executives are appropriate for a Friday evening and as perfectly chilled and fresh as they are on a Saturday morning departure. It isn’t easy. With pick-ups and stops together with the Friday night traffic it is unlikely we will get to Penzance much before 1 a.m. It is an upheaval and upsets our routine. I may even struggle to get a bedtime cocoa”.

Newcastle to Exeter and Doncaster to Penzance, both being 366 miles each way, are challenging, but at 380 miles, Caldy to Penzance is the longest distance to be travelled by any team in the top two tiers of English Rugby.

However, Armitage is not too concerned about how such a gruelling coach trip will impact on the Ravers’ performance on Saturday. “Johnny Butler is a seasoned pro, and he will pace himself expertly. Al Roberts and Andy Blackstock tend to hibernate together on long trips and are all the better for their snuggles and slumber, but I am a little more concerned about Tim Kilpatrick. Last year he got stuck in a bit of a …are we there yet? …groove and when we reached Bristol, he seemed somewhat devastated that we hadn’t quite hit halfway. With another season behind him I am sure Tim will cope better this time round but as a precaution I am going to keep a close eye on him. If he is obviously struggling, I will fill in a few hours telling him about the huge blue sharks I expertly caught off Falmouth earlier this year using light tackle”.

Caldy’s match against the Pirates which kicks off at 2.30 is available on the following link and Caldy’s 2nd XV has a home fixture in the Cotton Traders Premier League against a very competitive Rossendale side at Paton Field who lie in 4th place in the table.

“This will be a very competitive match” said Caldy’s Andy Soutar “As a club Rossendale have made real strides forward and they have taken some big scalps already this season. This should be a good match up.”

Caldy’s 2nd xv fixture against Rossendale kicks off at Paton Field at 2.15 pm.

Matt Cairns has selected the following squad for Saturday’s 1st XV Championship fixture against Cornish Pirates at the Mennaye which kicks off at 2.30 pm.

1. A. Aigbokhae 2. M Gallagher 3. J Sprotson 4. T Sanders 5. M. Gerrard 6. E. Murphy

7. C Booth 8. JJ Dickinson 9. C Pilgrim 10. R Hayes 11. M Cartmill 12. M Barlow 13. C Wilkinson

14. W Robinson 15. S Rogers 16. R Higginson 17. O Hearn 18. N. Rushton 19. C. Atkinson

20. H Crowe 21. J Murray 22. L Barker 23. R Williams


Graham Armitage, Johnny Butler, Alan Roberts, Andy Blackstock and Tim Kilpatrick and the rest of the Ravers’ party are expected back on the Wirral after dark sometime on the evening of Sunday 19th November ……..hopefully 2023!

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