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That Friday Feeling – 12th January 2024

This weekend both of the senior teams are playing away, with the 1st XV travelling to London and the 2nd XV going to Macclesfield.

The first xv resume their Championship campaign with just about the toughest fixture possible with an away trip to play Ealing Trailfinders at their West London stadium, Vallis Way. Ealing are tough to play at any venue but on Vallis Way’s all weather 3g pitch the exceptional pace and power in the Trailfinders’ squad are a huge challenge for the Ravers.

However, it is not ‘Mission Impossible’. 12 months ago Caldy hosted an unbeaten Ealing at Paton Field. The West London side had racked up ten 4try bonus point wins in succession since the start of the season and were the hottest of hot favourites to demolish the Ravers.

The final score of Caldy 26 – Ealing 24, so flabbergasted the rugby world that within minutes of the final whistle there was a call from a senior journalist at The Rugby Paper asking “WTF just happened “ followed by “Please tell us you have some pictures? ”. Although photos from Barrie Pilgrim’s I Phone were mostly grass and sky with the odd out of focus player, Kieran Free was able to supply some high quality output for TRP’s Sunday’s edition.

And of course there was the joyous video clip of ecstatically happy young Caldy minis and juniors celebrating Caldy debutant Louis Beer’s hat trick last second winning try. Within 24 hours this uplifting video clip had been shared and viewed on worldwide social media by some 5 million people, prompting messages of congratulation from South Africa, New Zealand, South America, Australia and all corners of the rugby world. Just extraordinary.

Matt Cairns has selected the following squad for Saturday’s 1st XV Championship fixture away against Ealing Trailfinders at Vallis Way in West London.  The match kicks off at 2.30 pm.

  1. N Rushton
  2. O Hearn
  3. M Weatherby
  4. S Olyott
  5. M Gerrard
  6. E Murphy
  7. C Booth
  8. JJ Dickinson
  9. J Murray
  10. R Hayes
  11. B Jones
  12. M Barlow
  13. M Cartmill
  14. N Royle
  15. M Kilcourse
  16. M Gallagher
  17. R Higginson
  18. J Sproston
  19. C Ridgway
  20. L Cox
  21. W Robinson
  22. L Barker
  23. L Beer

The Ravers DNA stems from its community and its mission to provide local youngsters with the best platform to express themselves. Last weekend’s 2nd XV double header cup and league match at Paton Field against Fylde was a perfect show case.

As had been the case for the previous 2nd team fixture against Lymm, Caldy’s Under 14s were invited to join Caldy’s senior squad players for this important senior fixture against Fylde. Welcomed and looked after throughout the day by the senior squad players and their coaches, Andrew Soutar and Christian Jones, the under 14 players experienced the full senior match day experience. The warmup routines, the final pre match team talk in the dressing room and the half time and full time circles.

The youngsters all played their part, as ball boys, water carriers and kicking T runners (they were busy doing that!) and at the end of the match they were encouraged to provide their feed back on Caldy’s match day performance which had resulted in a 69-0 win against Fylde.

The Under 14 players hugely enjoyed the experience and were very appreciative of the opportunity to engage so fully with the senior squad. One youngster was so impressed with the coaches and the day that he asked an extraordinary question that hitherto has never been asked by anyone at Caldy or by any other rugby player in the North West  “CJ are you a teacher?”

On Saturday Caldy’s 2nd XV take on Macclesfield at Priory Park in another tough Cotton Traders League fixture. The match kicks off at 2.00 pm. Coaches Andrew Soutar and Christian Jones have selected the following squad.

  1. W Sanderson
  2. J Ellam
  3. A Darlington
  4. C Deehan
  5. P Lewis
  6. T Parry
  7. A Kelly
  8. M Deehan
  9. H Bishop
  10. R Cooke
  11. M Jones
  12. S Cross
  13. R Williams
  14. T Elkerton
  15. F Arista
  16. B Leek
  17. J Riley
  18. H Lightfoot
  19. J Ralph
  20. H Evans

Girls Rugby

Caldy’s mini, junior and colts’ youth system which has been extraordinarily well developed over the last 30 years has been largely focussed on boys. However, in the last few years an emphasis has also been placed on growing girls’ rugby. There are currently now some 50 girls playing rugby at Caldy with the ambition to at least double this in the next few years. The Under 18s have a full squad of players and the Under 16s are catching up but the Under 14s and Under 12s are desperate for more players.

To address this, on Sunday 21st January at 10.45 am (i.e. a week on Sunday) the girl’s section will be running their Inner Warrior Session to enable girls to come along and try rugby on the first team pitch. No experience is necessary and Club Secretary Tim Kilpatrick urges everyone to get behind this initiative and encourage girls in school years 7-13 to come along to give rugby a try. Please do get behind this initiative and help develop Caldy’s girls rugby section to become the best in the North West

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