22 November 2014
A group of over 45 VRFC club members, embarked on the now annual away day of sport & raising money for incredibly worthwhile causes.
The touring party were playing in a tournament arranged by the House of Commons & Lords Rugby club. The other teams to play on the day were The Rugby Writers & the Japanese Embassy. The day also enabled Ventnor to raise monies for the RFU Injured players Foundation, Prostate Cancer (via the Movember appeal) & also to donate to Ventnor Cricket Club’s new scoreboard.
The day started with a 7am pick up & the 9am ferry from Cowes. As well as sporting their moustaches all the touring party were to wear lampshades, which during the course of the day received many puzzled looks & comedic moments
The tournament was to take place over 2 pitches, with Ventnor hosting the Japanese Embassy first. In a game adapted to Commons & Lords rules (Gentleman’s Rugby) Ventnor had to shuffle the pack slightly and make some changes to the original line up due to some over exuberance from one first time tourist. The game was soon underway with Ventnor dominating the early exchanges. It wasn’t long before Ventnor got on the score sheet with Rob Newton. The Embassy were struggling with numbers so Ventnor kindly lent them a number of players to swell their ranks. This gave them some resolve and for a while it looked like they may get back into the game, but Ventnor soon scored 2 quick tries from Warren Fresle. Ventnor won 17.0
The second game was against the tournament favourites, the Rugby Writers. Noticing the age of the
Ventnor side (a majority of who were 40+) they decided that they needed a 20 minute rest which did not assist Ventnor in any way! When the game did kick off Ventnor again showed some real grit & rolled back the years by knocking the opposition backwards and coming close to scoring. Eventually the Rugby Writers broke through to score late tries at the end of each half to win the game 10.0.
In Ventnor’s final game they took on the Hosts, The Commons & Lords XV. Again another really hard fought & close encounter, that Ventnor narrowly lost 5.0.
After the game the players & supporters enjoyed a meal & presentations were made. Kay Engelgardt donated a cheque for £250 to the RFU Injured player foundation raised from her recent efforts in the Great South Run. An auction was held & a further £1,000 was raised for the Foundation too. The touring party presented the C&L with a shield forging a partnership between Ventnor & the Commons & Lords, before all travelling to Twickenham to watch the England v Samoa game. Dotted around the historic stadium were lampshades of all shapes sizes & some with rather decorative lights!
It was here at Twickenham that the ‘Rugby Family’ summed up the very essence of the day. An England supporter tapped one of lampshade wearing players on the shoulder and quizzed him as to why he and the others around him where wearing them. When the charity day out and tournament was explained he promptly handed over £10 from his pocket asking for it to be added to the pot.
Ventnor RFC would like to thank the Commons & Lords for hosting the game and also to Yates Brewery for sponsoring the day out. Also a big thank you to all who donated & joined in on the big day out.
VRFC Squad: Mike Walker, Bob Engelgardt, Rob Newton, Stu Babington, Steve Marsh, Shaun Williams, Matt Taylor, Nolan Winter, Ed Clarke, Dave Martin, Tom Engelgardt, Warren Fresle, Chris Dobbas, Matt Cripps, Warren Riches, Ben Savill, Rob Simpson, Tim Ross, Scott Gardner, Paul Parkhurst, Tim Beard, Martin Newberry, Trev Heal, Mark Albany, Nigel Camp, Mike Hill, Phil Roberts