St Ives XV -7 Exiles/vets - 22
With expectations and waistlines expanding, a decent sized crowd braved the blustery conditions to enjoy what can only be described as legends from near and far and further away than that. Instant credit to the organisers, officials, players and ex players who with abundant enthusiasm collaborated to play the annual Boxing Day fixture following a poor and feeble decision from across the bar.
Resplendent in pink, the exiles/vets playing into the force lebm, kept the ball tight with neat interchanges and subtle offloads. A penalty 10 yards from the line in the gate corner was particularly pleasing to the eye. With all 15 player assembled in a huddle, tension mounted, players parted in all directions and Mark (Forrest) Eager came charging seaward with beard in full regalia, alas only going three paces before dropping the leather oval whilst in the act of transferring from left hand to right. Tremendous it was not.
Substitutions a plenty saw Director of Rugby, O.B.E., A.B.C., I.T.V., Joff Rowe doing his best to damage the fabric of his oversize jersey. The Rowe dynasty continues with Josh, son of former full back Mark, taking over kicking duties with 2 conversions from tries, firstly by Palmer (also Josh) and then Forrest.
Honourable mention must go to the plethora of father & son combinations: Brett & Joe Rouncefield, Maffis & Neil, Russell & Robert Baragwanath and special credit to Paul Prisk and his 3 offspring; Jamie, Niall and Todd in becoming the only Father and three sons to represent St Ives. An extraordinary effort.
Tries were still needed to be scored and Lee Taylor, now living the top side of Brown Willy, duly delivered a timely brace, truly almost breathtaking. Just when we thought it was all over, next up was Jamie Prisk slicing through a tiring pink defence, not exactly like a knife through butter but more like a blunt cheese wire through a knob of lard.
After the game several sweet sherries were devoured in what made a suitable finale to the day.