Mud, music and fundraising fun

The Harper-Wood team about to scrum down against the Young Guns, past Academy players. PNL-160401-170914001
The Harper-Wood team about to scrum down against the Young Guns, past Academy players. PNL-160401-170914001

Charity tournament was a huge success, reports Buckingham Rugby Club spokesman Julian Cook.

It may have been a dank and dismal day, but the rain didn’t stop play or the enjoyment had by more than 140 rugby players and some 200 spectators at the 15th annual Harper-Wood & Pot Belly Farmers charity rugby tournament.

Akeley v Latin

Akeley v Latin

Any lethargy from the seasonal excesses was soon washed away as the games were preceded with a rousing chorus of God Save the Queen and some very unique interpretations of the All Blacks’ Haka.

Even those with hopes of limping off at half-time were encouraged back on the pitch with a timely shot of port.

Tournament winners were newcomers, Old Chinnororians. Their newness to the occasion was very evident as they turned up early and prepared with matching kit and then, much to the horror of the other teams, proceeded to warm up. However, they soon got into the ‘spirit’ of things and were very much a welcome part of the competition.

Runners-up were Akeley Wood School Old Boys.

Akeley Wood Old Boys

Akeley Wood Old Boys

Sporting the biggest (and by far the loudest) squad of players ever seen in the competition, Akeley Wood ended up in the final against Chinnor, a well-contested match that saw the fitter, faster, stronger, and frankly much better looking Chinnor, win by four tries to nil.

The real final, albeit unofficial, was the game between Akeley and Old Latins. Judging by the number of penalties and ‘off-the-ball’ activities, it was obvious that both sets of overgrown schoolboys had their hearts set on winning whatever the cost.The nil-nil final score was testament to an even contest but also one that has called for a rematch at the end of April.

In third and fourth place were Old Latins and Young Guns (ex-Academy) with the Bulldogs, Pot Bellies, and Harper-Woods coming a joint last but getting the warmest showers – one of the consolation prizes of leaving a competition early!

Off the pitch, paying spectators came in their droves, the barbecue sold out by 6pm and the club rocked with Syd Twynham and the Montanas until the early hours, making the day a complete success.

The organisers are pleased to report having slightly bettered last year, with a total of £3,300 to be split equally between Willen Hospice, Bucks Air Ambulance, the Kirk Nokes Memorial Fund.

A huge thank you to all the players who paid to play, to the referees who made our day safe, the supporters who cheered and beer’ed and finally to everyone who gave up their time before, during, and after to make this a spectacular club event.