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That Friday Feeling – 5th April 2024

Last week’s 27-14 away loss to Bedford was disappointing for the Ravers and they will need to bounce back quickly if they are to prevail this week against an inform Ampthill side. Ampthill sit one place above Caldy in the Championship table and are coming to Paton Field on the back of a terrific bonus point win against league leaders Ealing. The ‘Mob’ will be determined to reverse their narrow home loss to the Ravers earlier in the season.

Caldy’s Director of Rugby Gareth Davies knows just how tough matches against Ampthill are. “We narrowly won away against Ampthill earlier in the season but all three previous Championship fixtures between the sides have been so close. This season Ampthill have strengthened with some marque players available to them. It is going to be a real test for sure.”

The weather forecast for the game, which kicks off at Paton Field at 3 pm, promises a sunny and warm day albeit with blustery condition later in the afternoon. Fortunately, the match will be finished before tempest like conditions arrive in the form of local Wirral rock band “Like a Hurricane” who are supporting the Ravers with a free gig in the marquee from 5 pm.

The 2nd xv are playing away against an always tough Blackburn side who will be very keen to end Caldy’s long unbeaten streak. Caldy’s 2nd xv head coach Andrew Soutar has been instrumental in guiding and developing Caldy’s young players, but this is not his only sporting focus.

As a 16-year-old he was offered professional terms by Leicester City FC but decided to instead accept a rugby scholarship to Rishworth School. However, there is little substance to the rumour that this former ‘public school boy’ has ever since been blanked by Barrie Pilgrim for rejecting the advances of Barrie’s beloved Leicester City

The former West Park St Helens player arrived at Caldy in 2008 as a fresh faced 26-year-old full back with exceptional rugby skills and his trademark no 1 haircut. ‘Sooty’ played 238 times for the Ravers scoring 480 points with probably his best rugby moment coming in the 2009 play-off match against the mighty Richmond at the Richmond Athletic Ground.

Sooty’s participation in this historic match for Caldy was in some doubt, as being a pivotal figure in a passionate and unique Liverpool FC supporters club, Sooty was already committed to leading this fans’ group at the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley, kicking off at 5.30 pm on the same day.

A 2.15 pm kick off at the RAG and a motor bike courier standing by to rush Sooty across London to Wembley should have solved the problem, but for a brilliant try scored by Sooty which took the play off into extra time! The Ravers finally losing out to a last-minute score by Richmond. Arriving some 30 minutes late at Wembley, the terrified pillion passenger suffered more heartache that day as the Reds also lost to Chelsea.

When in 2019 as a 37-year-old, Sooty finally hung up his boots to step into coaching he decided to maintain his fitness levels by taking up a bit of ‘jogging’ in his spare time. 5 years and 12 marathons later this bit of jogging is progressing reasonably well. Averaging under 7 minutes a mile in the London, New York, and Chicago marathons and a fair number of others somewhat closer to home, Sooty has posted a best time for the 26+miles of 2hrs and 59 minutes in the 2022 Chicago marathon.

In September Sooty is undertaking the Berlin marathon in aid of a dementia charity. Recently two of his family members have been diagnosed with dementia and Sooty wants to raise as much money as possible to help sufferers of this terrible condition. Sooty has set up a just giving page at

Please support this very worthwhile cause and the efforts of our own Marathon Man who is aiming to beat his personal best time, although to do so Sooty may need to shed his current bountiful locks and revert to his former No 1 haircut if he is to get that more streamlined and faster profile.

Head Coach Matt Cairns has selected the following squad for Saturday’s 1st XV Championship fixture against Ampthill at Paton Field with a 3 pm kick-off.

  1. N.Rushton
  2. O.Hearn
  3. J.Sproston
  4. A. Mcnamee
  5. S. Dickinson
  6. S. Olyott
  7. C Ridgway
  8. C. Booth
  9. C. Pilgrim
  10. L. Barker
  11. M. Kilcourse
  12. M Barlow
  13. C Wilkinson
  14. J. Mitchell
  15. R Hayes
  16. M. Gallagher
  17. R. Higginson
  18. M. Weatherby
  19. L. Cox
  20. J. Murray
  21. A. Kelly
  22. M. Cartmill
  23. B. Jones

Thanks to Steve Leek & Caldy u14s volunteers for help on gate, parking & raffle this Saturday, plus u14s coach Nick Arnott who arranged a free gig, performing in “Like A Hurricane” after the match !

Community Rugby
Saturday 6 April – u14s curtain raiser Caldy v Morpeth on Tour
Sunday 7 April   – Minis & Girls Training
– u13s Juniors away Mold v Caldy
– u14s Juniors home Caldy v Morpeth / Mold / Broughton Park
– u15s Juniors away Mold v Caldy
– u16s Juniors home Caldy v Colwyn Bay on Tour

Please come along to Paton Field / JJ’s Bank to support all the Caldy teams this weekend

Good luck to everyone & enjoy your rugby !

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