A great turn-out from the players of yesteryear graced the Demesnes for the 3rd running of the Frank Patterson Memorial Trophy. The spring air reeked of various rubs, salves, ointments and unguents as the Zimmers wended their way down onto the pitches; some must have had alcoholic ingredients judging from the tang on the breeze. The second team were already down warming up for the game and determined not to be phased by these grizzled old warriors. The Zimmers chose to ensure they did not peak too early and did a few gentle jogs across the pitch and back before stopping to recover and receive treatment from the beautiful Sarah on the touchline.
For all their tomfoolery and banter, the Zimmers started hard and fast, Sean Banner
, Phil Dixon, Mally Kicks and Colin Moore
driving the forwards upfield and centre Mark McEvoy
blasting through under the posts for a 0-7 lead. The seconds responded well and they were soon up the Zimmers end of the pitch courtesy of Neil Parker
in rampant form at No.8 and a string of penalties given away as the Zimmers came to terms with new laws of the game ( ie a try is no longer worth three points, and, no, it is not acceptable to get your retaliation in before the aggression is received). The good field position was enough to allow Badger Woods to scamper through for his 16th try of the season.
It was nip and tuck as the Zimmers players entered and left the fray but a brilliant inside pass from club sponsor Nigel Fairbairn out on the right wing to centre John Lavin
saw the Zimmers retake the lead and hold onto it until the half time whistle, 12-5.
Early in the second half, second team fly-half Adam Firmin
stole through a gap to even up the scores at 12 points apiece before with five minutes remaining, a quick tap penalty from wizened old prop Sean Banner
saw him just get the ball grounded onto the try line for the old-timers to edge ahead 12-17. The Zimmers just had to hang on but sadly it was not to be as quick-silver young scrum half Adam Kicks
broke through and outpaced the defence to score with the final play of the game ; it being close enough to the posts for Firmin to add the winning conversion.
For all the Zimmer’s changes and the lack of fitness, it had been an entertaining game to watch and provided a superb backcloth to the first team win again Bishop and an evening of rare old entertainment which went on late into the evening up at the clubhouse before the malted milk was served and the carers arrived to take them all home.