Luctonians Memorial Day
Saturday 20th April
Luctonians XV 33 v 21 President’s XV
A beautiful day greeted everyone at Mortimer Park for this game between the President’s selected squad of players, some who have graced the rugby fields at Luctonians in the past, and others from local clubs who have never worn the Black & White.
They faced a strong Luctonians XV comprising players from the Twos, Threes and the RMS Colts.
The day’s chosen charity was the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which is committed to raising funds to find and research for a cure to Motor Neuron Disease. The Charity started by the great No5 for Scotland Doddie Weir, who is working with great courage, along with his family and others to raise awareness of the condition since his diagnosis a couple of years ago. In honour of the great man the President’s XV wore Weir Tartan shirts, some of which would be auctioned off at the end of proceedings.
The Pre-Match luncheon was MC’d in superb fashion by Simon Hussey who delivered his own hilarious version of ‘Where you are born, is the country you should be playing for’ speech; justifiably asking many a question of all nations about their dubious qualification rights of players at all levels. He asked that burning question, ‘How can you be Welsh, when you were born in Shrewsbury?’
He was ably followed by Huw Davies who paid respect to the many Luctonians who have passed away in recent years and spoke with great reverence and humour about their lives and indeed his own, and Luctonians in general.
The full house of tables and the attending audience were then treated to ‘Burkie’ at his most irrelevant, or should that be irreverent best, full of stories from his own joke book before the kick off proceedings.
It was HOT, and both teams were advised to be well hydrated before the whistle, with plenty of stops for water, and “No Alcohol”, was the warning from the match official Mr Dan Evans. However, the President’s Coaching fraternity, wearing Tongan style skirts (“They are called Tupena thank you!”), which were supposed to represent Scottish Tartan in honour of that worn so admirably by Doddie Weir of the Charity being supported, were already well into their third or fourth tray-full before a whistle was heard.
It showed as throughout Messrs Dickie Davies, Dickie ‘The Hen’ Williams and Anthony ‘Marf’ Marfell were in the ear of the Lucs bench, managed by Owen Jones and Steve Small, non-stop.
What a great game as well. Both sides played excellent rugby, trying to keep the ball moving at all times, as with The Barbarians, and it was the knowledge of having played together more often that gave the Lucs side the edge in a 33-21 victory.
Credit to the President’s side, as they caused plenty of problems for the Lucs and could have added to their score but for a couple of handling errors when close to the score line. A great game and it was good to see players from our near neighbours support the occasion, with Ledbury, Hereford, Tenbury and Ludlow Rugby Clubs all having players present, as well as Worcester and Liverpool Universities.
For the record Lucs went into a 19-0 lead with tries from Ben Owen, Harry Whiteman and Greg Knight. Chairman Sam Whiteman commented that was Harry’s first score for the club which was duly announced, and he received a two-finger salute back, so it was obviously his second try. Will Blackmore kicking the extras. This before the ever alert and swift Joe Doyle, now playing for Ludlow RFC, scored just before half time, Kieran Pinches converting to peg the score back to 19-7.
Ben Owen added his second for Lucs early in the second half and Craig Parkes, who was transferred from the Presidents XV to Luctonians XV at half time to avert an injury crisis, for a fee involving more trays of lager, touched down for Lucs on debut. Again Will Blackmore was deadly with the boot.
This kick-started All the President’s Men, (isn’t that a film? Yes, it starred Dustin Hoffman) who rallied against a rapidly tiring Lucs XV and Joe Doyle and Jack Small both added tries to their cause, converted by Kieran Pinches and Ollie Blandford to see out an entertaining game for a final score of 33-21.
It didn’t stop there as three or four of the President’s XV shirts, including the iconic No5, were auctioned off for the Foundation, under the hammer for significant prices by auctioneer Dickie ‘The Hen’. Big thanks to those who gave so generously especially Wayne ‘Pinhead’ Knox who went away with two, as he has links to the illness through friends and family.
Great weather, great occasion, great game and great entertainment. Let us hope we can do it all again sometime.
Also a Lot of Fun was had
Not forgetting next Saturday when Blaydon come to Lucs for the Playoff.
Be there and get behind the Black and Whites.
Be there and #MakeSomeNoise
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