Families come together for annual rugby event in Blyth
Blyth RFC hosted the 43rd family team game on Saturday for fathers and sons, brothers and other family members to form a team and play against a club side.
The event started as a one-off, and has become a firm annual favourite, with players digging out their boots to turn out, with their sons in particular.
This year the club used the event to promote Dementia Awareness, and there were information stalls and hand outs as part of a week long campaign, a barbecue and evening band were also included to make a full day of entertainment for those attending.
The club side, led by Karl Rose, next season’s first team captain, contained a mix of senior players but also a good supply from the youth section on the brink of senior rugby, whereas the family side contained senior and veterans, along with a sprinkle of young players turning out with their family members for the first time.
The game was kicked off by Dawn Henderson, whose husband Steve and son Gareth were in the family side.
As expected the early pressure came from the young and fast players in the club team, and the first 20-minute session was dominated by their skill and pace, with four good tries scored.
The second session, after allowing both teams to alternate players, was a more even game, with both sides scoring a good try each, and the family team having more of the game on their terms with ball in hand.
The final session was a good entertaining 30 minutes, with both sides getting chances, the score ending up at one try each.
The rain held off and another good day was had by all, there was a good selection of young players on show, and if they transfer that talent to the senior game, will ensure a good future for the club.
James (Hank) Henning, a veteran playing for the club side, was always on hand at breakdowns to frustrate the family side with his hard work and aggression, with the Broadhead, Robinson and Cole families supplying a good section of the family team.
The oldest player on the park honour went to Tom Boooks, at 66 still able to turn out with his son Cliff, but biggest cheer of the day went to Chris Norris, who retired from rugby with health issues some 12 years ago, turning out to play alongside his nephew Kyle.
Thanks went to the dementia team, the staff and barbecue chef Jacka, and a big thank you to referee for the day Richard Gates, a former colt and first team regular, who refereed in the right spirit to allow for an entertaining game.
Looking forward to next year and hopefully more new faces.