I will become what I deserve…

Now that sounds hokey I guess, but its the lyrics from a song that have stuck with me for a while and they really rang true for the Dowtys Boys this weekend.

Now if you’ve been a regular reader of my blog you’ll know as a side its not been our season. We’ve had four last minute defeats this season. We’ve had some pastings too. No matter how hard we tried we haven’t been able to buy a win this season! It had become baggage you could see it on the players, we were all carrying it in games. Were we bottling it? were we good enough? were we putting it in as much as we should? While the answer to all of this is a resounding yes,  you could see at times all of us wondering if we were good enough.

What was amazing through all of this was the hunger and effort of all the lads. In training we all put it in, there was no place to hide, everyone gives a 110%. No we are not the best players in the world, none of us claim that, but you could see we all knew we were better than the performances we’d been putting in and through it all, the banter and team spirit has been excellent. I’ve never had so much fun playing rugby; truthfully. If you messed up we all shrugged it off and got on with it. We all knew the win would come, we all BELIEVED it would come, we never doubted it.

This weekend, we went into the game against some tough opposition. I think they took us a bit lightly, which is what angered me about our situation more than anything. To other teams we had become a bit of a joke, the ‘pub team’ there to give them an easy run out. Hopefully after this performance that perception will change.

To say we wanted this game would be an understatement. No one had a bad game, the whole side put in some hard graft and had moments of brilliance. Yes there were mistakes, knock ons, missed tackles, dropped balls but not once did this matter, you’d be slapped on the back told not to worry and get on with it.

Widden threw everything at us, they had some big lads and it was a tough, tough game but we threw it all back at them. We scored two cracking tries and went into the last 10 minutes  with a four point lead. Then it happened, as it has so often before, we leaked a soft score, the ball bounced our winger missed it and they scored. What hurt most was the laughter of their fans on the side. They didn’t deserve the lead, we knew it and they knew it but you don’t always get what you deserve in life….

However the focus of the guys was unreal, you looked around and you knew every one of us was going to get that lead back or die trying. We had 7 minutes to do it….

Two minutes later we had it, a penalty slotted over and we had a two point lead, 17 -15 and five minutes to go. If ever we deserved to win it was now.

For five minutes we had to hang on. Tackle after tackle, a turn over and cleared the lines. Some respite but we knew they’d come again. Every turn over cheered like it was the decider. Then it came, we won a penalty and there was no time left, the ball was launched into touch… victory was ours…

It was pure ecstacy. As I type this i’m smiling remembering the cheer of defiance I gave out at that whistle, we all hugged. We’d gotten what we deserved. The months of standing under the posts, being denied a win, seeing the other side cheering. The months of training in the rain and cold, the periods of questioning, the angry, the determination. It all went into that moment and it was worth every bit of it. If i could have bottled that moment I could.

I was so proud of the lads, it was one of those defining moments for us as a side. No one gave up we fought for every yard. I didn’t stand out or have my best game, but by the end I was exhausted, i’d given my all and it felt good. it still does.

Now i’m painting this as if we won a cup final, like we are an amazing side. We’re not, we’ll have an ok season. We won’t lift a trophy. But the potential is there and for me, when I look back on my sporting life that game will be up there. The game where we put it all on the line, fought for a victory and got it. Where it all paid off. Where we got what we deserved. It happens so rarely in life that everything pays off so when it happens you have to treasure it.

Now tomorrow I have an interview, for a job i want. I really want. I’ve prepared hard for it and I really want to give it my all. Just like saturday, i’m going to do all I can to get what I deserve. I might not get it, but i will be coming home, looking in the mirror and thinking there wasn’t anymore you could have done. Then its for them to decide…


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