Reality cheque can wait as Gloucester dream for a day

They may not to have a pot to pee in, but Gloucester do have the Powergen Cup to fill with champagne, scrumpy or whatever nectar of their choosing. Northampton arrived at headquarters with two captains, one for each handle of the trophy, but it ended up in the safe hands of Kingsholm's oldest scrummager in town, Andy Deacon.

At 37 years old, Deacon was a record-breaking elder at the cathedral of the game, and after being sent up to receive the cup, he was joined by team-mates young enough not to remember, or even be on the planet for, Gloucester's last victory in England's most venerable knockout competition. Wet behind the ears they may be, but James Forrester, Marcel Garvey and James Simpson-Daniel knew the way to the goal-line all right, four times over, and Northampton crumbled chasing shadows in the springtime sun.

Forrester had come to Twickenham muttering worrisome words of concern for his clubmates. The top players would be okay, he said – and goodness knows he is surely in that category now after a rip-roaring back-row performance – but those of, say, a middling nature are living season to season: a taped-hand-to- bloodied-mouth existence. The Premiership leaders are in line to complete the double if they survive through to the new play-off final back here on the last day of May, yet are laying off a third of their backroom staff' and reportedly withholding bonuses from their players.

Only in sport.

Tom Walkinshaw, 99 per cent stakeholder and 100 per cent subject of the Gloucester rumour factory, afforded a smile at the final whistle, even if he may be able to afford little else after the collapse of his motor-racing concern. The Scot has insisted the two operations were mutually exclusive. The vista before him was full of familiar chequered flags, though these were in the cherry-red and white of Gloucester's fantastic supporters – 25,000 or thereabouts. It must have been Twickenham's noisiest day, even if the stadium was suffering from truck-driver's syndrome, with half of it getting sunburnt.

Walkinshaw has grown strangely less voluble since relinquishing the chair of Premier Rugby last year, and running his fast cars into a pit-lane. Instead the Scot's mouthpiece has been the doughty director of rugby, Nigel Melville, who wrote Gloucester's "message" in yesterday's programme, whereas Northampton's owner, Keith Barwell, penned the Saints'. Melville only left Wasps when he tired of the state of flux, ditto his assistant Dean Ryan, from Bristol. They have forged a wonderful team in the flight from frying pan to fire.

Undeniably the neutral was happy for Gloucester at the end; extraordinary that they were castigated for their dull, 10-man approach after sharing the cup with Moseley back in 1982. Forrester, who was a year old then, Simpson-Daniel and Garvey still at the twinkling-eye stage, were prepared yesterday to run from anywhere, and it was thrilling to watch. Certainly you had to get by without one of the other senses, with the massed West Country hordes ratcheting up the racket from all sides accordingly. Walkinshaw and the Premier clubs tried to kill off the cup a few seasons ago, since when around 220,000 people have watched the last three finals. Get the picture, chaps?

Beforehand, one Gloucester fan of the big-day-out variety eyed up a Richmond riverside pub, and promised: "I'll be in there later for three pints of that Pimm's stuff." The drinks were on him last night, and, who knows, with the odd nip from Walkinshaw thrown in too.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?