“"This mineral water is damn good!"”
After The pomp and circumstance of the grand opening the buoyant crowd, led by The Princess Royal, "oohed and aahed," as Mike Tindall’s team of ex-internationals and Club Members, contested for “The Princess Anne Trophy” against a spirited and talented GRFU side captained by the formidable Peter Buxton. Even Julian Athawes, MRFC President was tempted to leave the luxurious tent and make an appearance!
Despite David Flatman, rugby’s own Roy “Chubby” Brown, opting for uncontested scrums, after spotting the athletic Andy Deacon as his opposite prop, the match was fierce and competitive. Within minutes of kick off a thunderous tackle on Nicky Robinson sent him sprawling on the turf. In an act of team retaliation, Flatman upped his momentum fourfold to a steady stroll and flattened Clive Eagles, one of the eldest players on the field who fully recovered and played the whole game!
Tindall’s team was on playful form and after some decent rucking and ball retention, from the forwards and some slick passing from Delport and Fanolua, Sam Hester weaved his way over to touch down. The lead was further extended from a quick lineout on the 22 when Richards did a Bruno Tonioli impersonation to shimmy his way through The GRFU defence, popped the ball to Tindall, who in turn fed Bradshaw to jet his way to score.
With Nick Wood enjoying and commanding his second game at Minch, he reminded Tins who was “The Boss,”, when he showed him yellow, with a hint of glee, after a deliberate and outrageous knock on! Peter Buxton took possession of the ball, rampaged and dragged his way towards Minch’s try line, off loaded to Alex Richardson to score.
Despite their increasing age Terry Fanolua, Thinus Deport and Junior Parrimore showed their vintage class with some barbarian style rugby that was applauded from the delighted crowd. Tries flowed both sides of half time, with Hester and Bradshaw both adding to their tallies. Thinus Delport, and Mally Goulding both showed their pace and agility to take 5 points a piece. Fiddler and Fortey were a colossus at the breakdown and ball retention. However the lesser mortals of the stage shone and rose to the occasion with determination, deference and humour!
With Tindall’s Minchinhampton team just edging a victory by a convincing margin, both teams congratulated one other for what was a memorable and highly enjoyable game. After the cheers, Gino Beaumont was thunderstruck to find himself receiving The Cup from Princess Anne, on behalf of Minchinhampton RFC.
The event was rounded off by both teams offering a very hearty Three Cheers to The Princess Royal, whom we all know is a keen follower and patron of Rugby Union.
Mike Tindall Rob Fiddler Sam Hester Thinus Delport Terry Fanolua Jack Corry Tom Bradshaw Nickey Robinson Matt Powell Angus Wrightman Bertie Wooster Fisher Junior Parrimore Andy Burfoot Chris Forty Max Folkard Dave Flatman George West Chris Downey Gino Beaumont Timmy Mallander Jack Richards Tom Fitzcharles