Oh, Micky, what a pity you don’t understand. You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand.
Oh, Micky, you’re so pretty, can’t you understand. It’s guys like you Micky.
Oh what you do Micky. Don’t break my heart, Micky…
Y’alright? When we last spoke, we seemed pretty sure that Micky Higham, the love of my life, was staying at Wire despite a transfer request from the high flying Leigh Centurions.
In the time since then, it has emerged that the lure of his hometown club (and no doubt the promise of two-year contract) is too much for Micky to turn down and he could be off to Pennington Flash in a, erm, flash. It’s the last time I let him shag my wife, I tell you.
To make things more interesting, the club aren’t happy about the way in which Leigh have approached him and after discussions with Tony Smith, he didn’t feature on Friday at Dewsbury so won’t be cup-tied for the clash against Leigh in the quarter final of the Cup. The next time we see him at the HJ, he could be lining up against us in the cherry and white of Leigh.
Then again, he could always change his mind again and he’ll put in a man of the match performance against the Leythers.
In his absence and with Daryl Clark still injured, Brad Dwyer was recalled from his loan spell with London to play 80 minutes at hooker and the former Ince Rose Bridge junior was one of the best players on display in fairness.
In the past couple of seasons, he has been in and around the first team but has always had two top class hookers ahead of him, so his game time has been very limited. When he has been given opportunities, though, he has rarely put a foot wrong and he opened the scoring at the Tetley’s Stadium with a neat dart from dummy half and a drop of the shoulder to stroll in from close range.
It was the start of a long night for the Rams, as Wire ran in 10 tries in total against the part-timers.
It was almost a very different start to the game when Richie Myler’s flat pass at the line was almost picked off by Dewsbury’s number 46 but the man with no name on his back couldn’t keep hold of the ball and spilled a golden opportunity to get his name – whatever it is – in lights.
Hometown hero Anthony England and Richard Agar both began their professional careers with Dewsbury and Dwyer has played there this year already with London, but other than Myler and Hill who probably played there during their time in the Championship, it’s fair to say that for the majority of people associated with Warrington it was a first ever trip to this part of West Yorkshire and it was certainly a culture shock for some of the supporters.
The lack of a cash machine in the town centre and the horror that bar staff in a pre-match boozer greeted a noticeable increase in their clientele – apparently, they didn’t even realise there was a rugby game on – was the main topic of conversation before kick off.
While the travelling support wasn’t exactly at its peak, its presence and the draw of one of Super League’s ‘big clubs’ swelled the crowd somewhat but still the gate was below 2,000. Still, the presence of a low roof and pockets of both sets of fans in the same stand lead to a decent atmosphere.
For most of us, visiting a stadium that also hosts a car boot sale every Sunday and the stadium announcer asks a member of staff to rush to the kitchen with a pair of plyers is a novelty that gives a sense of ‘there but for the grace of god, go we’. However sourly the Cullen reign ended, we must be thankful that his input during the 2002 season spared us from being dragged down to the doldrums of the lower leagues.
The magic of the cup has diminished somewhat in recent years due to the disparity between the full-time pros of the Super League and the part-timers of the Championship divisions, but the performances of Leigh, Batley and Featherstone over the weekend highlight what a thoroughly professional and efficient job Wire did on Friday.
After Dwyer’s opening try, Dewsbury went very close to levelling scores when their busy number 25, a young lad called Farrell (of all names!) was held up over the line after breaking from a scrum and charging at the line. Minutes later, they had a penalty and took the two points to avoid being nilled, but you felt that had they took the tap, they were actually building sufficient pressure and it would not have been beyond the realms of reality for them to cross the line.
Gene Ormsby then increased Wire’s lead with a well taken try after collecting a high kick to the corner and Ben Currie scored before that lad Farrell crossed the try line again, this time getting the ball down.
It was all pretty one way traffic after that, although things didn’t go exactly to plan, as both Joel Monaghan and Gene Ormsby left the field having taken knocks and didn’t return. The forced reshuffling of the back line saw Gaz O’Brien return from a short stint playing for Rhyl and take up the full back role while Kev Penny reverted to his more suited wing position.
Having a ball player at full back kicked Wire on another gear and OB combined with Myler and Patton the same way Ratchford does from the position and our attacking play had a bit more fluidity.
Promisingly, on a pitch cited as being just 62 metres wide, the ball was spread wide well and the fact that Penny crossed twice and was joined on the score sheet by Atkins, Bridge, Patton and another try from Ben Currie came when he was switched to centre highlight the proficiency of our expansive play.
Dewsbury again took two points late on from a penalty to take them to 10 points against the mighty Wire and, considering they were suffering from some injuries to regular first team players, they gave a good account of themselves and put in a spirited performance. They created a few chances that on other days would have resulted in points, but the Wire weren’t in a charitable mood.
Leigh at home in the next round will be spicy, considering they have beaten two Super League teams away to reach the Quarter Finals and the aforementioned tapping up of Micky Higham.
In the short-term, it’s our mates from Eccles away next and a game they’re heavily marketing for a big crowd. Not that we’re their cup final, or anything…