Wasps Legends thrill at Ventnor RFC


Wasps Legends thrill at Ventnor RFC

Watcombe Bottom 14 May 2011

More than 1500 people poured into Watcombe Bottom to witness the Wasps Legends play the Ventnor Rugby Club veterans in a charity match that raised a total of £8000 to be divided equally between St Catherines School and the Richard Engelgardt Trust.

Wasps Legends thrill
at Ventnor RFC
Wasps Legends thrill at Ventnor RFC

In a one-sided match, the Wasps ran out easy winners 76 to 13 – the only surprise being that Ventnor took the lead via a Glen Hepburn penalty, his first of two. In retrospect, this early score may have been a mistake since it rattled the Wasps’ nest and their stars turned on the style with England maestros Andy Gomarsall and Josh Lewsey leading the scorers whilst the power of the international pack turned over Ventnor’s hard won possession time and again. The home team never gave up – even resorting to put twenty-nine members of their squad at one point, a move that encouraged Kenny Logan, the Scotland and Come Dancing star, to switch sides and join Ventnor for a few minutes! Back to fifteen players, Ventnor continued to put on pressure and got their reward with a well taken try by skipper Nigel Malkin which was converted by Warren Riches.

After the game, the Wasps spent plenty of time with their fans, signing autographs and handing out their playing shirts to the players of the Vectis and US Portsmouth under 10s mini teams that had entertained the throng with a spirited warm up game in which Vectis triumphed.

Peter Scrivener, himself an England A player and the Wasps organiser, was full of praise for the welcome that they received on the Island. “I was delighted to bring the Wasps Legends over to Ventnor on Saturday for what was an amazing day for everyone involved. To get over 1500 people watching a bunch of old men play is a testament to the hard work and spirit of the Ventnor management and Islanders.

“Can I say a big thank you to everyone for making us feel so welcome and a huge thank you to all the sponsors who backed this day because without it wouldn’t have happened. I understand we have raised £8,000 which is fantastic especially when we supported two great charities and to have Richard Engelgardt join us for our drinks session post-match will be fondly remembered.

“We would be delighted to come back for a rematch in the future and good luck for next season”.

Nigel Malkin, the Ventnor skipper was full of praise for his team, “It was a full-on game which none of us will ever forget. It was such a privilege to be on the same pitch as these great players and their class was there for all to see but our guys never took a step backwards and kept going to the end”.

James Morton, Ventnor’s treasurer states, “We are delighted that the day went so well. It is a testament to the attitude of the Wasps Legends that everyone had such a great time. We were hoping to raise a decent amount but being able to hand across £4000 to each of our charities is simply marvellous. It would not have been possible without the help and generosity of our sponsors who backed the event from the start and provided the wherewithal to make it such a success”.

Stuart Babington, the club’s chairman says, “It was a great day for Ventnor and the Rugby Club. After the game, it was extraordinary to look across our clubhouse to see Josh Lewsey and Andy Gomarsall singing their hearts out with the boys and girls of our club. It just goes to show what rugby – and the love of rugby – is all about. Whatever your celebrity, ability and age, you play a hard game and then have a pint and a sing-song with your team-mates and your opposition. That’s why rugby players make friends wherever they go”.

Gary Freeston received the Wightlink man of the match from Kerry Jackson whilst Tom Wells awarded the A J Wells Black Dog statue to Nolan Winter. Tim Warren was the Wasps Wightlink man of the match whilst Norm Bloom took the A J Wells Black Dog trophy.


Wasps Legends. W.Green (England), D.Macer (England Students), G.Holmes (England A), T.Warren (Wasps), A.Reed (team capt – Lions & Scotland), D.Walton (Wasps), M.Rose (Wasps), R.Parker (Wasps), A.Gomarsall (England), J.Ufton (Wasps), K.Logan (Scotland), N.Suma (Wasps), R.Lozowski (England), S.Roiser (Wasps), J.Lewsey (Lions & England).

Subs. J. Barrett (Wasps), A. Bidwell (London Welsh), N.Bloom (Ealing), B. Gotting (Wasps), J. Harding (Wasps), M. Ireland (Wasps), J. Kelly (Harlequins), A. Kershaw (England U21), M. Leek (England U21), D. Molloy (Wasps), M. Rogers (VRFC), P. Scrivener (squad capt – England A), M. Skinner (Wasps), A. Stavri (Wasps), B. Sturnham (England), J. Turner (Wasps), T. Warren (RICS). Physio T. Newsome (England 7s)

Ventnor RFC Veterans. D. Newbery, N. Malkin (capt), R. Newton, M. Testa, N. Ricketts, D. Magnurson, G. Freston, K. Wheeler, F. Kenny, G. Hepburn, L.Venier, N. Puckett (IoWRFC), L. Bryant, W. Fresle, D. Martin

Subs. S. Babington, S. Benfield, A. Bridges, C. Chapman, B. Cooper, R. Engelgardt, R. Harris (SSRFC), S. Lines, S. Marsh, J. McGovern, M. McMeechan, I. Payn, T. Riches, W. Riches, M. Rogers (VRFC), G. Simler, M. Taylor, A. Walton, K. Wheeler, N. Winter

Coach D. Ball, Physio Z. Wilmot-Amies

Referee David Rose (RFU), Linesmen A. Murphy (RFU) and N. Gadsby

Report by James Morton