The annual Boxing Day Andy Millar Cup match at Petersfield RFC saw the Gowns beat the Town team 38-20.

The Town team – all volunteers drawn from Petersfield’s senior players – met the Gowns, who were selected from players returning from universities, other educational institutions and those living outside the area visiting family for Christmas.

Support from players’ families, friends and local spectators – and the commitment and enthusiasm from the players – makes certain this match is no exhibition game and is hard-fought from kick-off to the final whistle.

After an administrative hiccup it was realised there was no referee appointed and it was young clubman Alex Evans who volunteered to carry the whistle and officiate so the game could go ahead.

Alex regularly officiates youth section matches on Sundays and he dealt with the good-humoured on-pitch rowdiness well.

The match was played in four quarters so rolling substitutions could be made and from the start it was obvious the Gowns had it in their sights to continue their tradition of winning and holding the cup.

Their speed and controlled aggression had Town on the back foot. Town scored one unconverted try in the first quarter but Gown scored three converted tries to lead 21-5.

Both teams scored one try in the second quarter to make the score 28-10. Both sides scored two unconverted tries in the second half as the Gowns won 38-20.

The cup was presented by Andy Millar’s widow Celia, accompanied by sons Jim and Iain.

Chris Todd