Wed 27
St. Ives RFC Unders
Charity fun in the snow sheds some pounds

Charity fun in the snow sheds some pounds

By Phil Brown
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Charity fun in the snow sheds some pounds

It was not a day for the faint hearted, with the temperature at zero and the snow sweeping down and settling on the Chicken Shack. But, given the importance of the chosen charity, Doddie Weir’5 Trust, Chairman Mark Smy was delighted to welcome well over 30 players aged 16 to 50, including guests from neighbouring Cambridgeshire clubs, for the annual charity match at the St. Ives.
“We have a lot of fun playing this game we love”, he said, “And we also enjoy giving back to the rugby family. Doddie’s cause, support for his family and raising the profile of Motor Neurone Disease, gives us that opportunity. Whilst happy to support Doddie’s cause, we Overs look forward to getting one over the Unders this year.”
With the pitch covered in snow and an icy north wind sweeping across the Fens, the dividing age of 29 seemed to favour the Overs. Former skippers Jim Robinson and Josh Dear enjoyed a canter in the centres together. For those that know them, this was a notable first. Inside them, 1st XV stand-off Mickey Drake seemed more concerned with staying dry in his fleece than getting anywhere near the damp stuff beneath.
Playing at number 8, Duncan Williams was determined to prove his versatility to the absent incumbent.
Up front, Andy Kirby was heard loudly complaining that the temperature being at least 30 degrees below his normal home playing conditions, he was unlikely to sidestep as often as normal. Jason Price agreed and soon disappeared to warm himself by the fire pit.
Led by Tommy “I’m still an Under” Newman, the Unders were pleased to welcome Fin Ruddock to his first senior match. As per the regulations he was suitably bibbed to avoid serious contact with the Overs. Unfortunately, immediately from the kick-off he appeared to forget this and threw himself into challenges rumbustiously.
Returning students were in abundance, desperate to stake their claims for a place in the St. Ives shirt once more. George Peacock, Will Nelson and Tom Evans all shivered out in the back line, but when pressed into service, were up to the task.
Sam Tuckwood and Joe Cox both managed to show the Overs defence a clean pair of heels on numerous occasions. Tuckwood managed to hold on to the ball and score. Cox demonstrated his grasp of colourful language after yet another break was foiled as the soap-like ball shot from his grasp.
The result was in doubt until the final play of the game. Running from deep and needing to score to level proceedings, the Overs lost the ball which was snaffled and swept upfield to complete a notable win for the Unders.
Post-match many an Over was heard to mutter that had the arbiter bothered to keep the Law in the spirit of the match, the Overs would have won by a country mile. As it was it finished 15-27.
Two other topics were high on the agenda:
- Should Williams’ two tries count towards the season’s tally (in the absence of Raine, Ashbridge and Tayedzerwa most believed, yes); and
- With the raffle still not completed, the Doddie Weir’5 Trust can look forward to something close to £300 contribution to the foundation.
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Match date

Wed 27, Dec 2017