Sure-sponsored Vagabonds RUFC hosted the annual Paul Cleland Memorial Match on Saturday against the Young(ish) Farmers at a wet and windy Ballafletcher.
The relatively young Vagas team was skippered by full back Josh Carine while Will Cain had the reciprocal honour for the Farmers.
Against a heavier Farmers pack, Vagas held their own and provided quick ball for Aidan O’Shea, Cameron Howard and Daf Lewis in the backline.
Despite several good phases of attacking play, Vagas were unable to cross the whitewash and from a turnover ball the Farmers’ powerhouses of Jim Nicholson and Graham Jones made several hard yards, although it was Liam Kirkpatrick who eventually crossed the line for what turned out to be Farmers’ only score. Cain added the extras.
At the start of the second half it was Farmers again who were on the attack, with the likes of Will Keenan and McGee brothers making inroads into the Vagas’ defence but were unable to add to their first half score.
Raging bull Jo Louw made his mark on the game with some powerful runs and slinky off loads. While on the charge, Louw was brought down just short of the line but Ross Pulman was on hand to pick up and dive over to secure the try.
Unfortunately for Vagas, Michael Oates was unsuccessful with the conversion and it was the Farmers who were the thoroughly deserving winners and took the 7-5 victory.
Celebrations continued in the clubhouse where the Paul Cleland Cup was presented to Will Cain.
This was truly a great game, played in exactly the right spirit between these two sides in memory of Paul.
Following last year’s game, funds were raised on behalf of Paul Hunt who was injured while marshalling at the 2014 TT. It was wonderful to welcome ’Big H’ back to Vagas and present him with the cheque. Many thanks to all players and spectators who were involved.
Castletown’s annual Elder Lemons’ match at Poulsom Park saw a rare win for the past players against the current first XV on Boxing Day.
The very muddy conditions leant themselves to the Lemons pack and they soon took the lead thanks to good play from Alex Gibson, Paul McGilvray and skipper Mike Foy. After the current XV soon hit back the impressive youngster James Emmett scoring an impressive solo trial to reduce the deficit.
Led by vice-captain Craig Glover, who was deputising for the injured Matt Quine, the current Poulsom Park side began to put pressure on their all-star opponents.
However, the fleet feet of Paul Drake and an outrageous dummy gave the Lemons the game’s decisive score.
A breakaway try from the current XV’s Barry Lawson made for a close finish, especially when guest scrum-half Sam Radcliffe added the extras, but the Lemons managed to hold on to gain this year’s bragging rights - final score 12-19.
Thanks go to Nick Dale for refereeing and everyone who braved the conditions to watch lemonade rugby at its finest.
More rugby in Thursday’s Manx Independent