Thursday, July 18, 2024

What a day! What a win, Blues!

The Blues rose to the occasion of Newbury RFC’s charity “Pink Day” to serve a win against Winchester 15:12.

Our community rugby club came together with fabulous community charity, Newbury Cancer Care and the Rainbow Rooms.  What a day it was, with Newbury Rugby’s 50 sponsors joining the club and digging deep into pockets to fill collection buckets, bid huge sums on smashing auction gifts and take up fistfuls of raffle tickets to raise a whopping £12,000!  Hugely well attended, supporters turned out in some of the best pink outfits ever.  And all in aid of the charity.

And, how about the rugby?  Standing second in the league table, Winchester presented a formidable opponent, having yielded only three out of seventeen games as they poured onto the Monks Lane pitch.  With its injury-affected senior men’s team, the Blues were standing just 10th.  Fans were perhaps not completely surprised that Winchester seemed to take the Blues by surprise and roved strongly around the touchline for the first few minutes and put points on the board, with a penalty, at the end of the first five minutes and another three points just two minutes later.

But the Blues steadied themselves and replied only a couple of minutes after that with a try by Lock, Ben Davies, coolly converted by Captain and Fly Half, Dan Thorne.  From then on, the teams looked quite evenly matched, with a “to and fro” of play serving up another couple of penalties by Winchester’s Full Back, Tommy Hare and a try by Newbury’s Wing, Jamie Futcher to leave the scoreboard even at 12:12 at the end of the first half.

The second half saw the Blues in charge, with most of the possession.  A couple of attempts on goal by the Blues – some tricky angles and distances – were missed, before the captain added another three points, the only score of the second half.  With a steady drizzle settling in, play in the last fifteen minutes reflected the increasingly greasy conditions.  You had to know that the Blues were playing in astonishingly pink kit for the special charity day because all 30 players looked a remarkably similar mud-grey by the end.

Play was, regrettably, sometimes bad-tempered and both teams saw a man sent to the “sin bin” but it was great to welcome Christine “Chrissy” Clark as the first female referee of a senior men’s game at Monks Lane.  She had a good game.  The Blues’ Prop Ben Hicks and Flanker Dylan Stewart were the star players.  The win has lifted the Blues to 9th in the league table.

As this season draws to a close, the Blues travel away to Tottonians on Saturday, 2nd March and away to Jersey on Saturday, 16th March.  Their next and last home game is Saturday, 23rd March when they host Witney.  Come on you Blues!

Kennet Radio listeners and website visitors have the opportunity to contribute to this year’s Pink Day if they wish.  Just go to


Photo by kind permission of Robin Varley and Peter Branch