With expectations running high and Shebeen coming off 2 loses it was time for a long overdue victory…. Having missed this fixture 2 weeks prior to Friday night both Shebeen and MC Marais were itching to get the game on the go, the event being labelled as one of the potential games of the season, it truly did live up to all expectations.
A large crowd turned out to witness Friday night lights, hosting both Shebeen and the 4ths.com, the atmosphere was incredible around the Brooksider. The game began in a very open manner, MC defending their line well as the Shebeen looked to cross the line through great rear end counter attacks and sneaky little darts in behind the MC defence. This was however short lived, ill-discipline once again gifting our opposition with plenty opportunities to swing momentum and pin us right back in our own 22. MC managed to squeeze 2 tries in in the first half, both being rumbled over by their forwards. Our defence showed lots of guts and determinations but after too many penalties it was difficult to carry on the trend. The Shebeen Boys had two close opportunities through Kieran Casserly and Richard Stemmet but on both occasions things didn’t go our way. We did however manage to stay in the game come half time through 2 penalties from Richard Stemmet, leaving a lot to be decided in the 2nd half. Half time score 14 – 6
We came out guns blazing and played all the rugby in the right areas of the park, with not too many scoring opportunities, we still remained extremely positive and our defence denied any attack that MC fired upon us. A good couple of changes saw some fresh legs do wonders for our attack, opening up holes everywhere in the MC backline. Justin Heynes moving to 10 and the cool calm and collective Troy Cunningham slipping in at 12 insured that all the outside backs were awake and ready for anything that was created through the magic of these 2 individuals. With 5minutes to go a fiery cut out pass from Heynes found the loving arms of crowd favourite Cally Souma who gave out a moering worthy of a main event at the EFC. The baffled MC defender was left to watch a man half his size cross the goal line for a 5 pointer. Heynes taking over the kicking duties very casually slotted the conversion right from the corner to keep Shebeen in the game, 14 – 13.
Momentum had clearly shifted and the crowd began demanding a win from the boys, to all supporters this was greatly appreciated. Having won a penalty from a fair distance out, Heynes once again slotted the penalty which saw a beautiful salute to members of the crowd who were clearly fans of the man. With 2minutes to play and Shebeen leading for the first time in the game (16-14) we had almost guaranteed the W, the bench and side-line support getting ready in their starting blocks to sprint on to the field come final whistle. Unfortunately it was not to be as we conceded somewhat of a controversial penalty from one of the best refs we have seen in the league. The MC flyhalf and kicker having not missed a trick all night pumped the final blow deep into the office blocks and the celebrations swung to the left, seeing the MC boys mimic what we were all ready and waiting for.
Unfortunately it didn’t go our way at the end of the day but the phrase “it’s not about winning but about how you play” certainly applies for our performance. A strong Shebeen side proved to all just how talented they are and why they deserve to be considered one of the best in the league, a performance that made all the supporters and more importantly the Old Boys proud.
Comeback kid Justin Heynes outclassed all other players on the night and almost single handedly earned the boys a victory, a performance like this guaranteed him Man of the Match. Thanks to all supporters for creating such a vibe and supporting our bar, truly appreciated. To the Old Boys, thank you for still showing a keen interest, please may this continue and may we see all the Shebeen jerseys that have been worn throughout the ages visible on the sidelines. Finally to our sponsors Greatsoft and Woothemes, thank you for the continued support, honestly without your contributions this epic group of Shebeen Boys would be non-existent.
This week we take on MC’s younger brothers at Villagers. Shebeen vs UCT4 time to be confirmed.