8th. Annual Tournament
Ten sides, including teams from the London area took part in Rye Rugby Club’s 8th. Annual Tournament at the New Road Ground on Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend.
The Rye fifteen, under the captaincy of Paul Flood, won all four matches in their five team league section of the tournament. Victories over Hellingly (7-5), Ashford Twos (7-0), Brentwood (24-0) and Beckenham (5-0) saw them on top of the group and into the Semi-Finals of the D. Bowen Memorial Cup.
The Celts come out on top
They were matched against The Celts, a mixture of London Scottish and London Irish players. Rye put up a good fight but eventually went down 12-0.
The Celts went on to win the competition with a 3-0 victory over Cranbrook.
The Consolation Plate competition for the teams finishing third and forth in their respective leagues was won by Ashford Two’s in a robust game against Robertsbridge.
To accommodate the number of games both pitches were used.
Ex player, Andy Benn, organised the first aid tent and was soon kept busy, the worst injuries being a dislocated shoulder and a broken wrist, both players were shipped off to hospital.
The day was an outstanding success both on and off the field for the Rye Club. There was an atmosphere of success in the air for a club that was only formed in 1991 in a town with absolutely no Rugby tradition. Their New Road Ground is cosy and sheltered and there are great plans afoot to build a clubhouse.
Rye were last seasons Sussex Rugby League Division Three winners and take their place in the Second Division for the start of the new season.
Great plans for the future
Coach Jason Bowen has great plans and aspirations for the club. There are plans to field a second team and the Club promotes a Mini Section. This group has been meeting every Sunday throughout the summer. Well over twenty boys and girls turn out learning basic skills and playing touch rugby. During term time the club will be hosting open days, entertaining up to 300 school children who are keen to ‘have a go’.
Flipping through the pages of the Tournament Catalogue is soon becomes clear that this is a club that is going places. There are many able people on the committee, all seem to have been appointed a job to do. The programme itself is well presented and contains a message of welcome and encouragement to the Club on behalf of the Rye Town Council.
The list of vice-presidents is also very impressive, tucked among the list of M.P., Councillors, and other fine Ryers can be found the even more famous names of Spike Milligan and Sir Paul McCartney.
Tradition is observed
The Tournament finished at six but as is traditional for all Rugby sides the party was continued. The headquarters of Rye Rugby Club is The Crown in Ferry Road and to this venue the players made their way, to talk of the games just played and ponder on those to come over the occasional pint of liquid refreshment.
Rye Rugby Club – Winners of their first four games
“Rye’s Own” September 2000
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