HMS Bulwark RFC v Bancroft RFC
HMS Bulwark RFC
A H4H Charity game in memory of a fallen solder from 1 Rifles, Lt Daniel Clack, known to all at Bancroft RFC. The match is in its 5th year but this was the first time against a Naval side, HMS Bulwark, having being organised via CMEM (M) Bruce Walmsley an ex player at Bancroft. The match kicked off on a beautiful sunny day at 2.45pm; with London having taken its toll on the squad, Bulwark only came with 17 players. The team were augmented with Cpl Lancaster’s cousin Mr Lancaster and Mne Cal Tacey coming in after KO, and with the kind loan of a prop from Bancroft, the game started with the better drilled home team having the early advantage at both the line and the scrum but with both sides committed to fast flowing rugby each side’s defence was put to the test with big hits coming in from both teams. Big T Talemaimaleya made his presence felt in the midfield and the back row worked hard to contain a strong Bancroft team however, Bancroft worked the ball downfield to gain a lineout 10m out and drove over for an unconverted try (5-0). With Langers Langley coming off with a broken nose, Bulwark introduce its first guest player, Mr Lancaster. After the re-start Bulwark tried to move the ball down field, but an interception in the midfield then allowed Bancroft to score a converted try (12-0). The rest of the quarter was played at a fierce pace until the Ref blew for a 2 min water break.
With Bruce Walmsley coming on at Hooker for Why Evans, the game continued to favour Bancroft with Bulwark having to do most of the defending. Despite the Bulwark team working hard and showing total commitment they struggled against a better drilled side in the set pieces, which meant more first phase possession to Bancroft allowing another converted try (19-0). Despite this, the Bulwarks work rate and effort never went down and the ball was worked right to left through the hands giving Buck Rogers a bit of space on the outside; realising he was not going to make the line he cleverly drew the defence allowing Banjo Lancaster in under the posts converted by Meg Ryan (19-7). Galvanising the Bancroft team they managed another unconverted score just before halftime (24-7).
With Cal Tacey coming on for Brooksy Brookes at outside centre and Why Evans coming back on, Bulwark started to come back into the game as Bancroft’s pace slowed as the heat and speed of the game began to tell, Brooksy only had a short rest as Big T came off having pulled a hamstring. A well worked move involving both forward and loose play moved the ball up field with Mne Brooksy Brookes scoring under the posts for AB Riggers Rigby to convert (24-14). Bulwark started to gain a more permanent foothold in the Bancroft half but the hard nature of the game again took its toll with Buck Rogers having to come off replaced by Meg Ryan and Brooksy turning his ankle, which meant a shuffle with Ronnie Cobbet coming up to center and Jan Jones moving to full back, and a kind loan of AN Other from Bancroft to make up the numbers.
With Langers Langley back on for Banjo Lancaster and Taff Arndell coming off, Big T Talemaimaleya had to come back on but in trying to make too big an impact unfortunately broke his arm (with thanks to WO1 Bob Crozier (chief supporter) and Whips Cross NHS for looking after him). Taff did not have too long a rest as a speculative boot up field was caught by Meg Ryan, who dashed down the line chipped over the defence to score under the posts converting his own try (24-21). Bancroft started to feel under the cosh but utilising their better drills knew what they had to do and began again to control the game from the lineout and scrum forcing the errors and scoring 2 unconverted tries in the last period as Bulwark tried to chase the game as the clock ticked down (34-21).
With thanks to Gary Cootes at Bancroft RFC who help arrange the match and turned out to play (as he still does most weeks) on his 56th birthday, the Ref who had a great game and all the players & supporters at Bancroft RFC who turned out to make it a great day for all. The Bulwark man of the match was Jay Samuel who bossed the game from scrum half and the turncoat was Bruce Walmsley who managed 20 mins in the last Quarter for his old club and was punished for that in the bar afterwards. With a Minis game’s before the match, a visit by the Essex police helicopter, food and entertainment, over £2500 was raised by the large number of spectators and players on the day for H4H’s and Scotty’s little soldiers. Any ship visiting London could do worse than pay this fine, 120 year old club a visit. For more pictures visit Bancroft RFC on the Web. A big thank you goes out to Sue Clack the mother of the fallen soldier who presented the trophy to the winning captain after the match.
LT Major, LET (ME) Evans (Rep CPOMEM (M) Walmsley), Mr D Rose (Bancroft RFC), AB Bond, CPOET (ME) Ford, CPL Lancaster, LET (ME) Arndell, CPL Langley (Rep Mr Lancaster) , ET(ME) Samuel, AB Ryan (Rep AB Rigby), POET (ME) Rogers (Rep AB Ryan), ET (ME) Talemaimaleya (Rep AN Other (Bancroft RFC)), MNE Brookes (Rep MNE Tacey), ET (ME) Jones, AB Cobbett
REP: AB Rigby, MNE Tacey, CPOMEM (M) Walmsley, Mr Lancaster & AN Other (Bancroft RFC)
This match is part of the ‘You Play We Pay’ initiative.