Park’s Stock troops overcome Northern in memorial game.
Northern Select XV 7 v Percy Park Class of 2009 21
(for the critics out there…if you are’ black and white’ only the first period really counted!!)
This season Northumberland RFU are attempting to facilitate matches to attract former players back to the game of rugby. Their first attempt was held at Northern RFC on Sunday 25th August where Percy Park, Northern and Gosforth RFC contested the Ian Douglass Memorial Trophy. Ian was a well-respected Northern Coach who brought through a cohort of players who were ‘U16 in 2009’….ten years ago. The idea of the game was to bring those three teams back together for a round robin game….thanks to Howard ‘Howie’ Stock Percy Park managed to field players from that side with some aplomb and…Gosforth they managed five and Northern… well… anyone from the club would do as long as they were playing rugby!!
With former Park juniors travelling to McCracken Park from London, Carlisle, Dundee, Catterick and all places across Northumberland and Tyneside, the black and whites took to the field, with gritty determination, to do as best as they were able. With former lead coach Malcolm Cairns looking on….it was a day to impress;
and what we got was a major surprise…they were brilliant…easy word to bandy around but considering that many hadn’t played for ten years they matched, absorbed pressure, played some really good ‘offload rugby‘ and resoundingly beat an experienced Northern side on the counter attack. They even took their opponents in the scrum. Former Percy Park Captain Jonny Dubois looked on and was grinning like a ‘Cheshire cat’…he loved that!...it was great and fun to watch…and more importently the boys were enjoying their moment in the sun.
The second period saw the ‘Gosforth 5’ join the ‘fitter’ Park boys….and again they edged a Northern side. The third period was ‘mixed up’ with all having some game time.
With a BBQ and free flowing beer, boat races (we won that as well!) and that ‘infamous yard’ of ale the event was a great success….meeting up with ‘our Zac’ and seeing him so animatedly happy as he met up with old team mates was a highlight…and our thanks go to Graham Crozier and Dean Appleby-Rutter for organizing the occasion…let’s hope that one or more of Stocks troops make the journey back to Preston Avenue not just to consume the local brew (as many did not return home until 2:30am!) and don that famous ‘black and white shirt once more.
Don’t forget its Alnwick on Saturday with a 2pm kick off…..come on Park!!