The annual battle against the REME had been hyped up by the Vets manager, but unfortunately numbers were still very disappointing on the day. It was a bright but slightly windy day, providing good conditions for rugby and perfect for a sizeable crowd who would not be disappointed.
There was the normal bunch of miscreants as well as a spattering of new faces (players loaned by the REME!). Both teams started well, looking sharp and up for the contest, particularly in the forwards which turned out to be a bit off a bruising encounter.
The game ebbed and flowed from end to end, with both teams producing some good rugby but failing to convert possession into points. The REME, flush with players, had the luxury of being able to rotate their squad fairly regularly; this begun to swing the momentum of the game in their favour and it wasn’t long before the points started to rack up; though it didn’t dampen the spirited RLC team.
The RLC keept it tight and direct, which the REME did not like, however this style of play was far too sporadic and didn’t produce the points that were deserved just on effort alone. This helped spur the REME on who then demonstrated some great rugby with excellent support play resulting in more points on the board.
The RLC weren’t going to ‘roll-over’ and let the REME have it all their own way however, and started to give as good as they got. There were some great performances from Boxhead, Stu Evans, Mawbs, the industrious Jase Lowe and the ‘man of the match’ Jimmy Ranatora. The backs didn’t have a lot to work with but were ably marshalled by Richie Crane (although kicking is definitely not his strength!!) and the welcome return of Tom Tom with another solid performance from the departing Chris Evoy.
The game ended in a flurry, with real pressure from the RLC resulting in a well worked score; Craig Johnstone provided Boxhead with the easiest of opportunities to power over the line – a fitting end to the season.
In summary a great day of rugby, though not the result the committee had hoped for. With eyes on next season we are very keen that we continue to field a Vets side. However in order to do so, more support and communication is needed from everyone involved! Everyone will receive a warm welcome, and will always get a game, irrespective of standard, playing history etc. This is your team: if you don’t support it there will be no team!
Man of the Match – Jimmy Ranatora
Craig Johnstone (Player Manager), Richie Crane, Rob Futter, Chris Evoy, Col Mason, Stu Evans, Jase Lowe, Farard Darver, Charlie Frost, Craig Mawby, Leon Williams, Tom Tom, Axel Foley, Lance Miles, Jimmy Ranatora and Colin (Boxhead) Smith.