Boxing Day excellence at Withycombe enjoyed by big crowd.

PUBLISHED: 13:06 27 December 2011

Action between Withycombe and Totnes at Raleigh Park on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 7828-46-11SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Action between Withycombe and Totnes at Raleigh Park on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 7828-46-11SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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It was festival rugby at its best at Raleigh Park on Boxing Day where a healthy crowd were able to relish some the best open rugby seen for a long time, writes John Goldfinch.

Referee, Richard Steggles expertly handled the proceedings between a Withycombe side playing without the pressures of league rugby and a Presidents XV, full of former Withies players and guests from other Clubs.

The contest proved to be one of end-to-end action with a number of exceptional tries being scored at both ends of the pitch.

Full credit should go, not only to the players, but to Director of Rugby, Nigel Symons, for organising a plethora of players into competitive sides when spirits are jaded and the fizz of Christmas Day Festivities are long gone!

Player numbers allowed those with wearying limbs to leave and then re-enter the fray when they felt able to.

The Match was played for the inaugural John Passmore Memorial Shield to

be presented to the Man of the Match.

The award ultimately went to a couple of players with Chris (Fridge) Gibbons from the Withycombe side and Joe Parkin from the Presidents XV being presented with the honour by the wife of the late John Passmore, Anne.

Prior to the presentation, Tony Rowe, Withies President and Chief Executive of Exeter Chiefs, said a few words about John and his achievements and service to grass roots rugby.

Boxing Day 2011 certainly proved to be a day to be remembered for all sorts of reasons!

Withycombe’s 2012 year begins in earnest on Saturday, January 7, with the visit to Raleigh Park of Falmouth (2.30pm).

In the meantime, from all at Withy, a very Happy New Year to all our followers and sponsors.

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