Teaming up for a fine cause - The Redditch Standard

Teaming up for a fine cause

Redditch Editorial 30th Sep, 2014 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016   0

HISTORY was made on Sunday when 22 players from Redditch and Droitwich rugby clubs joined forces.

Both clubs had been faced with closing down their U17 sections as player numbers fell away from last season. This is not a new problem for most clubs, but the solution here was novel.

Droitwich coaches Pete Wall and Mark Thomas met their Redditch counterparts Jamie Southwell and David Bush over a beer last week to float the possibility of joining forces and the positives totally outweighed the negatives.

The Droitwich and Redditch clubs are only nine miles apart so training and getting to games was not seen as a problem, but the first hurdle to negotiate was getting permission to join forces and then to get a team out for Sunday’s fixture.

Steve Hindson, honorary secretary of Redditch RFC, said: “North Midlands RFU secretary Rob Bray and RDO Stu Eades gave their blessing and things were soon ratified with U17 league secretary Allan Hughes.

“The lads came together for the first time just prior to the match and there was barely enough time for introductions. Club shirts from the players’ home clubs were worn, giving a colourful touch to the day.”

Facing a well drilled Bromsgrove side, the combined team opened the scoring before going several tries down. However, having come this far, they were not going to give up easily, and sheer guts and determination saw them grind their way back to a famous 24-22 victory at Bromsgrove.

The ensuring celebrations were rightly vocal and the season will now continue with the combined team following Redditch’s league draw and Droitwich’s cup path for the campaign.

Mark Thomas from Droitwich commented: “After a difficult start to the U17s season it is great to now have enough lads together to field a side of 15-plus again. Hopefully this will enable more boys to remain in the game.

“It also ensures the investment made by both clubs in this age group will be realised as they can now remain in the game without transferring to another club. Who knows, Colts next season?”


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