Jun 9, 2009 - Last weekend 17 Senators ventured to Franconia for the Annual 'Old Man of the Mountain' tournament.
Also along for varying degrees of moral (and, this reporter assumes, immoral) support were a number of WAG's (Wives and Girlfriends)
The staggered arrival times on Friday evening did little to stop most from making the unplanned rendezvous in the Gale River's 'Big Cottage' where Dan, Darren, Rick, Perky and Tom made sure beer and assorted snacks were on offer to ease the shock and fear which had resulted from the announcement that the Senators were being 'punished' for failing to enter a team in recent years and would be playing the Big Two of Connecticut Greys and Amoskeg. The WAGS seemed bemused as to what the grounds for concern were but generously consumed the beer and snacks in support of their respective partners.
The sun rose bright and early on a glorious Saturday morning, and most Senators rose approximately two hours later in time for a quick breakfast before meeting at the field for the first match's 11:45 kick off. A wide variety of headwear was on view under the strong sun, including caps of various vintages and Gerry, Dermot and Dr Watson's matching straw numbers.
Kick-off for Game 1 came as a surprise to most players as they attempted to find shirts with a number close to the position they would have liked to play if more than 4 backs had made the trip. Connecticut came out with all guns blazing and the Senators were soon contemplating the O.F.F. which guaranteed the win. Early knocks resulted in medical attention for Tim Frank and Darren Elder, both of whom returned to the fray with blood still running from head wounds and slightly glazed looks in their eyes.
Halftime brought a welcome water break after which the Sens grasped the game by the throat and powered into the shocked Greys with renewed vigor. This brought the scores so close that, by fulltime, the O.F.F. was hardly needed.
Most Senators left the field drenched in sweat and and immediately made the trip to the motel where the pool and hot tub had been opened especially for the occasion, to ease sore muscles and bones.
Game 2, against our old foes from Amoskeg, was a tight affair with great ball supply from the forwards being followed up by flowing backs moves which resulted in tries for Jamer and Gerry Lannigan. The game's 'highlight' came as Tim Frank kicked ahead and chased a loose ball over the try line. He then stooped gracefully to pick up the ball and carried it at great pace off our field towards the posts on the other field. The referee was laughing so much he took a while to decide how play should restart. The action was so intense that most players missed Senators' Bill Erikson leaving the field and returning to play in the red of Amoskeg. Darren continued to believe his head was the most suitable way to stop the opposition and finished with a face reminiscent of a scene from Rocky.
Again the game was followed by drinks for players and WAGs by the pool where Tim was awarded the Shirt of Shame for his two-field try. An attempt at the World Record for 'most men in a hot tub' had to be abandoned when Dan Kline pointed out there would be no one left to bring the beers.
Sore legs and muscles were tended and anesthetised long into the night at the player's buffet and other locations across the area before the long Sunday drive home.
Plans for Franconia 2010 are under way. Watch this space.