Yesterday my rugby club hosted a memorial day in honour of two fallen members of 2 Rifles in Afganistan.
Danny Simpson of Mitcham RUFC and Joe Murphy of Yardley & District RUFC, both lost their lives in the same incident in 2009. "Swift & Bold" is their motto, "courage and honour" is how they work.
My under 14 section was asked to provide the opening match of the day. We invited a number of Surrey teams to send some players. The upshot was that we had 44 players from 7 different clubs, mixed ability in that we had county players and small team B team players. The lads were alphabetically divided into 2 teams, Team Danny & Team Joe.
Thank you for the support of the following clubs:
Old Mid Whitgiftians, Old Whitgiftians, Old Beccahamiams, Warlingham, Old Rutlishians, Sutton & Epsom and of course Mitcham.
What transpired was one of the best games of rugby I have seen for a very long time. Players who had never met before were linking in "clever" moves. Tackling was exceptional and hard. Not one player backed off. Final score was 36 - 39 with Team Joe winning...just! Another 5 mins and the result could have been different.
Each team awarded a player of the team award. The deserved winners were Sam Palombo for Team Danny and Eddie Hutton for Team Joe (both coincidentally came from Sutton & Epsom). Well done lads!
There were a couple of hospital trips, I know that one (from Old Mids) was discharged very quickly and is probably a bit sore today, but OK. I haven't had any feedback on the other (from Old Beccs), but he got in a car supported by players from other clubs. The camaraderie of rugby!
Not sure what happened in the Mitcham v Old Wandsworthians game but Mitcham Vets vs Yardley Vets ended in a convenient 10 - 10 draw. The winners were sorted in true rugby fashion in a team "boat race" which Mitcham won by a country mile! Thanks to Yardley for helping us empty the contents of the bar, we could not have done it without you!
Absolutely outrageous behaviour not to be encouraged by any of our coaches. Naughty.
We raised over £5,000 for Forces charities by the time everyone sobered up enough to count (may be more as money is
still coming in)!
What an end to the season!
Full u14 team details below:
Daniel Scott Mitcham
Danny Moore Mitcham
Joel Sinnott Mitcham
Ryan Swan Mitcham
Tom Pugh Mitcham
Alex Runicles Old Beccahamians
Harry Whitbread Old Beccahamians
Elliott Surbey Old Mid Whitgiftians
Jack Pittman Old Mid Whitgiftians
Ted O'Shea Old Mid Whitgiftians
Timothy Mash Old Mid Whitgiftians
Hiral Radia Old Whitgiftians
Sam Scotney Old Whitgiftians
Conor Murtagh Sutton & Epsom
Ryan Valentine Sutton & Epsom
Samuel Palombo Sutton & Epsom
Harry Young Warlingham
Jacob Keyzer Warlingham
Josh Newman Warlingham
Lewis Sawyer Warlingham
Samuel Rhodes Warlingham
Sean Whenham Warlingham
Liam Davenport Mitcham
Reece Evans Mitcham
Conor Hodkinson Mitcham
Ben Brown Old Beccahamians
Jamie Cheverst Old Beccahamians
Bryn Cotter Old Beccahamians
Christopher Hart Old Beccahamians
Adam Baker-Welch Old Mid Whitgiftians
John-Paul Black Old Mid Whitgiftians
Andrew Hoffmann Old Mid Whitgiftians
Hayden Jack Old Mid Whitgiftians
William Burgess Old Rutlishians
Anwar Ellis Old Rutlishians
Ciaran Cresswell Old Whitgiftians
Luca Criscuoio Old Whitgiftians
Adam Filby Old Whitgiftians
Oliver Ayres Sutton & Epsom
Jack Howes Sutton & Epsom
Eddie Hutton Sutton & Epsom
Scott Grundy Warlingham
Alex Kelly Warlingham
Dylan Pyott Warlingham