Earlsdon entertained a youthful looking Trinity Guild at Mitchell Avenue in the annual Pup’s Cup Memorial match. Last game of the season saw Earlsdon field a mixture of youth and experience, ages ranging from 17 year old fly half Andy Bowyer
to super vet Dave Withers
at 60. The backs had a very youthful look about them which could not be said about most of the pack. French winger Flo was playing his last game for the club before going home.
Earlsdon started the game slowly with the Guild making the early running trying to play a bit of rugby with their centres looking dangerous. Earlsdon were a bit lethargic and were slow getting around the park. The red and whites then stepped up a few gears and had a period of pressure with the backs creating a couple of chances that weren’t taken. The Guild defence held firm and they held their line intact. The visitors took the lead, their lively scrum half going over under the posts following a period of sustained pressure. The try was converted. Earlsdon were then forced into a change with full back Paddy Darcy
limping off to be replaced by Arron Dreelan. Back came the home side for another crack at the Guild, their resistance final broke with the influential figure of Rob ‘Lambrini’ Callaway crashing over. Fly half Andy Bowyer
missed the conversion blaming the fact that it wasn’t his kicking tee he used!! Both sides tried to play some running rugby for the rest of the half but cancelled each other out with none of the chances created being taken.
Earlsdon 5 – 7 Trinity Guild
Earlsdon made several changes in the pack at the half with props Ian Matthews
and Paddy Ryan
being replaced by Stu Tilt and Gareth Withers
. Sal Rigione came on for Charlie Glover and Neil Bullman who had not turned out for a few years came on for Sean Moore
in the second row. A positional change saw Rory ‘muscles’ Oakman move to 9 with Dick Dingley
dropping to the wing. The changes seemed to work and Earlsdon upped the pace from the start. The backs and forwards were now combining well, with good second phase ball allowing the young backs to get behind the visitors defence. The still hung-over Callaway then smashed his way over for his second score after good sustained forward play. Bowyer used his own kicking tee this time and still missed. Although Earlsdon were on top the Guild were always dangerous on the counter attack. Earlsdon came close again, a fine run by skipper Martin ‘Mad Dog’ Rourke saw him tackled just short of the line and scrum half Dick Dingley
was deemed held up over the line following up. Earlsdon were forced into a change with the injured Gareth Withers
being replaced by Paddy Ryan
. Earlsdon then scored their 3rd try and it their best of the day, excellent play by the forwards sucked in the Guild defence, the ball was moved wide and Dom Bennett
scored (good job he did as he a had a 4 man overlap!!). Bowyer converted this time and the home side led 17 – 7. Rory Oakman
then limped off to be replaced by Blev and Melvyn O’Neill made way for Dave Withers
. The Guild were not done yet and their strong running centre scored a try which went unconverted. A final change by the home side saw the Dog replaced by Sean Moore
. The visitors were on top for the rest of the match but the Earlsdon defence held firm and they claimed Pup’s Cup with a final score of 17 – 12.
A really entertaining game for Pup’s Cup and the final match of the season. Our thanks once again to the Guild for continually honouring the fixture and credit to the referee Steve Challis for letting the teams try and play rugby as the occasion deserves. A cracking night was had afterwards to end the season.
A good end to what has been a tough season for the 3rd team what with injuries and retirements affecting our player base this year. I’d like to thank everybody who has turned out over the season and let’s come back fighting next year – get hold of you mates who aren’t playing any more and get them down training over the summer an playing next year!!
Tries: Rob Callaway
(2), Dom Bennett
Cons: Andy Bowyer
Team: Paddy Darcy
, Rory Oakman
, Dom Bennett
, Liam McGladrigan, Flo, Andy Bowyer
, Dick Dingley
, Rob Callaway
, Charlie Glover, Martin Rourke
(c), Melvyn O’Neill, Sean Moore
, Paddy Ryan
, Dale Bowyer
, Ian Matthews
Arron Dreelan, Stu Tilt, Gaz Withers
, Sal Rigione, Neil Bullman, Mark Evans
, Dave Withers
Dream Team Star Man
Moron of the Match