An Alternative View of IWRFC with O’Pinion – Sunday 23 April 2017

The end of the 2016-17 season is almost here; touring side Medway visit next weekend, when Sunday will be rugby day! However, this weekend saw the annual awards evening on Friday night, followed by the second team’s hungover final match of the season on Saturday.

A novel venue (The Cow Co. at Tapnell Farm) hosted the glitzy awards do on Friday evening, attended by 100 Rangers and their families/significant others. A splendid evening, ably compered by chairman Ollie Boulter saw fine dining, ample drinking, devilish dancing, and a half-hour of controlled partial nudity inspired by Mr Harry Dye. A host of volunteer awards were given to those who keep the club running from week to week, often carrying out unglamorous chores. There were also some comedic alternative awards.

The main awards of the evening were allocated as follows: Young Player of the Year – Evan Toms. 2nd Team Player of the Year – Jayme Bishop. 1st Team Player of the Year – Owen Herbert. Players’ Player of the Year – Martin Newnham (for the second year running – some achievement by Freda!) The Chairman’s Award will be presented at the AGM on Wednesday 17 May. However, the President’s Award was doubly special this year – it was awarded to Colman Cotter, who was also conferred with the rare honour of honorary life membership of the club for his tireless efforts and invaluable advice in the renovation and extension of the IWRFC clubhouse. Well done feen.

Sore heads and bleary eyes aside, Saturday dawned sunny and warm, and Winchester Vets travelled to the Island for the final Solent League 3 match of the season. A fine game ensued, which Tim Greedy’s 2nds won 38-24. Coincidentally, this was the exact scoreline of the 1sts’ last league game, when they beat Romsey. There were four (4!) tries for Spanish import Cesar on the wing. ‘Hail Cesar!’ – thanks to Dave Metcalfe for the headline. Later, young Alex Augustus came off the bench to add two further tries, watched by his dad Ivan. This win gave the seconds fourth place (out of 12) in the league after a long but satisfying campaign – indeed, only Eastleigh’s superior points difference separated us from third.

One more game and then it’s several months without competitive rugby action. Hope to see you all next Sunday!