Rugby Union: Orrell's hospitality enjoyed by Wasps

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The Independent Online
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THE ORRELL clubhouse was a haven from the foul weather and an instructive one at that after Wasps' narrow victory had kept alive their hopes of winning the First Division of the Courage league.

Kids ran amok. A presentation was made to Dewi Morris, their Lion, a presentation full of words like fantastic, brilliant and fantastic.

Players from both sides mixed cheerfully. There was a blazered Rob Andrew with a livid bruise on his left cheek. Bob Kimmins was a towering, benevolent presence, a smile on his face and a plate of chips and a pint of beer in his hands. Jeff Probyn looked mischievous and magisterial at one and the same time. It is good that Orrell's special qualities, of which the warmness of their welcome is by no means the least, will be present in the First Division next season.

What had gone before may have been a disappointment to Orrell but it was not unjust. They twice took the lead and might have snatched victory at the death if Gerry Ainscough's fourth attempted drop goal had not gone wide. But Wasps deserved to win if only because they had more good men than the home side in a crisis, men who are more steeped in a higher standard of rugby, men like Andrew and Probyn, who was prominent in the loose.

Orrell base much of their play around the massive kicking of Simon Langford, the darting runs of Morris and their venerable and doughty pack epitomised by Kimmins and Sammy Southern. At the highest level, it is not quite enough.

Legend has it that the most respected person at Edge Hall Road is Mrs Kimmins, Bob's mother, who usually stations herself at the far end of one of Orrell's two stands. It was in part Richard Kinsey's success at the line-out that kept Kimmins and thus Orrell in check when the home side had the wind in the first half.

Wasps have a theoretical chance of winning the league if they beat Bristol and Bath lose to Saracens. Would they deserve it? Probably not, having won six of their 11 league matches by five or fewer points.

Orrell: Try Hamer; Conversion Ainscough; Penalty Ainscough. Wasps: Try Oti; Penalties Andrew 2.

Orrell: S Taberner (capt); P Hamer, S Langford, P Horrocks, P Halsall; G Ainscough, D Morris; M Hynes, N Hitchin, D Southern, R Kimmins, C Cusani, P Manley, S Gallagher, N Ashurst (D Cleary, 24).

Wasps: H Davies; P Hopley, F Clough, G Childs, C Oti; R Andrew, S Bates; G Holmes, K Dunn, J Probyn, R Kinsey, D Ryan (capt), F Emeruwa, M Greenwood, M White.

Referee: J Coulson (Consett).

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