Withycombe festive match proves to be big hit for players and spectators
PUBLISHED: 12:51 28 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:53 29 December 2019
The annual festive meeting at the Raleigh Park home of Withycombe between a Withy XV and the Presidents XV is always a day much looked forward to by the many that take part - and the even greater n umbers that turn out to enjoy the action.
The 2019 Boxing Day match was certainly one that plenty of players wanted to be involved with for no fewer than 54 had put their names forward to take part!
The 54 players were drawn from the current senior XV, the colts, past players and some special guests from local clubs plus some individuals more used to enjoying their rugby from the sidelines!
With such an excellent turnout, it was decided that the regular match format was to be broken down a little differently and so what followed was two 30-minute halves of 'competitive' rugby, followed by an additional 20 minutes for the 'lads and dads' that wanted to be part of the action.
It must be reported that the final 20 minutes was every bit as competitive as the first 60 minutes!
The first half hour of the action saw the two sides settle into the contest which was played out in middy conditions, but a large turnout at Raleigh Park was treated to some impressive rugby, much of it played out in the middle third of the pitch.
The Presidents Xv scored two tries, one of which was converted before the Withy XV hit back and the score was 12-5 after the first 15 minutes.
The second period of the game saw more flair and plenty of running rugby with no fewer than six tries being scored, four by the Presidents XV and two for the Withy XV.
The final third was every bit as good as its preceding two thirds, with the arrival of the 'lads and dads' and it was the Withy XV who scored the most tries in this period, crossing the whitewash three times while their own line was crossed just once.
In all there were 13 tries scored as the game was declared an honourable draw.
However, those keeping a keen eye on the scoring would have totted up a final score of 43-32 to the Presidents XV!
Post match the playing honours were dished out with Luke Davis picking up the award for the President's XV and Liam Cullen taking the honours for the Withycombe XV.
The photos in the gallery that sit with this report are all from IAIN COOPER