Family members play their part in rugby encounter

Some of those who took part in the Blyth RFC family day event.
Some of those who took part in the Blyth RFC family day event.

Blyth RFC hosted their third family team game on Saturday week.

The idea being 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.

Mick Broadhead, a club stalwart and first team player from the mid 1980s early ‘90s provided three sons along with himself, and all played a big part in the team performance.

The club side, led by Dean Langdown, fielded a quality side, with several first team members, and thanks go to all those who turned up, following the club dinner festivities the previous evening.

The format was to play in 20-minute sessions to allow substitutions, and the first session saw several players of both sides struggle with the pace and ferocity of the game, clearly suffering from the heat, or the previous night’s entertainment.

The club side, as expected, out-paced the family team on occasions and Steven Long in particular showed pace too hot to handle as he ran in two tries early on.

The game settled down, once the pace regulated, and players adapted to the team members to start creating chances on both sides. Scott Robinson on the family team linked with brother Kenny to score a good try out wide.

The second session saw the forwards in particular dominate as both teams scrapped for ball, and although the game was played in good spirit, there was no quarter asked or given, and several players ended up battered and bruised.

The family side surged into the game with some good back play, and a try from Craig Broadhead, and another from Scott Robinson to one from the club side, saw the game in the balance.

The final session saw the game close down, with players on both sides refusing to give an inch of ground.

The small but enthusiastic crowd were entertained with some last minute tackles and missed chances, Dave Hall on the family side put in several crunching tackles as the club side tried to exploit his wing.

The scoring was concluded by the family side, running quick ball from a ruck for Gary Sinton to score.

The family side were captained by Mel Cole, recently returned from the reunion of his first team, Blyth Grammar school of 1967, where he was able to meet up with several players and the legendary coach Keith Whitehead, still active in the game.

The teams retired to the clubhouse for a well earned, cup of tea, with thoughts immediately of next year’s encounter.

As this coming season is World Cup year with games in the region, the club is calling on players to get back into the game.

The date for next year’s game will be advertised early to allow family members co-ordinate their appearance.

Thanks went to both referees, Gregg Dawson and Chris Raine, and all those who turned up to support and help.