Old Boys dig deep to secure bragging rights

Old Boys dig deep to secure bragging rights
Rugby - Tunbridge Wells All Stars v Skinners' Old Boys

Tunbridge Wells All Stars 7 Skinners’ Old Boys 12

But it was to prove a competitive battle with the All Stars mixed in age from 18 to 60-plus against a school Old Boys side packed with youthfulness.

The contest saw some father-son combinations on opposing sides. Tim McCabe, the Old Boys’ skipper, played alongside his sons Max and Laurie, while John Ridley of Tonbridge Juddians lined up with his sons Liam and Patrick for the All Stars, as did Andy Child (TWRFC) and his son Harry.

A late change saw the Tunbridge Wells Chairman, veteran Mike Rigby, step in to play at scrum-half for the All Stars.

The Old Boys’ former club Colt prop Duncan Colf made an early break and from the next phase the visitors took the lead when they went wide with numbers and Thys Van Der Zanden scored an unconverted try in the corner.

For the All Stars, guest second row Duncan Hales of London Cornish used every ounce of his 6ft 8in frame to make inroads.

After a series of assaults near the Old Boys’ line, James Webb crashed over from close range and with the conversion added, the All Stars took a 7-5 lead.

Despite being a friendly there were some big hits going in all over the park as neither side could find a way through.

With five minutes to go the Old Boys managed to get the ball wide and Gommersall went over for a try, converted by Tom Burgess to give the visitors the lead.

The home forwards drove to the line in responce and Lewis Langman eventually went over but his effort was disallowed for a double movement.

So Tunbridge Wells were beaten, as they were last year, but they could enjoy a celebration of the club allowing seniors like Andy Maynard to take the field, returning ex-players renewing old friendships and guests from other clubs who came to show off their skills.

With a crowd of nearly 150 attending, the clubhouse was packed with cheer reminiscent of some of the old Boxing Day games in years gone by.

This year’s chosen charity was The Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre in Tunbridge Wells which will receive an estimated £400 from a ‘shirt sale’ sponsored by Nortrade.

Wells return to league action when they host Brighton on Saturday [January 4].

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