While Covid did for a couple of first-team games before and after the festive break, Farnham Rugby Club continue to get people young and old out playing the sport.
Making the most of youngsters returning from university for the holidays – from as far afield as Spain and USA – the club fielded an under-23 team dubbed the Farnham Vandals in fixtures against Old Reedonians at Weybridge before Christmas and a President’s XV at home after the festivities.
A loss of concentration at the start of the second half allowed Old Reedonians to score four tries in ten minutes and go on to win the encounter 31-15.
The game against the President’s XV was the finale to a club day on December 28 at which all playing sections of the club took the opportunity to run off some Christmas pudding.
The President’s XV was a mix of current players, veterans and those who had not played for a while.
In a thoroughly entertaining and hard-fought game, the pace, skills and enthusiasm of the Vandals prevailed over the wisdom and weight of the older, if not fitter, players – but not by much, as the final score saw the Vandals win 36-34.
A highlight of the match – of which there were many – was the referee, none other than Mike Hudson whose regular job is to referee officiate Premiership matches.
Dominic Parker, the key instigator behind the formation of the Vandals, said: “The core of the current first XV, including skipper Ollie Brown, learned their trade as juniors at the club.
“The Vandals provide the link between the club and the many young players who inevitably move away to further their education or launch their careers.
“In due course, they’ll be back to bolster our senior squad full-time and, given the quality and commitment shown by the boys in both games, the club’s future looks bright.”
Last Saturday it was the second XV who represented the club in a league match at Monkton Lane against Dorking A.
Given isolation absentees and others yet to return from holidays, the second XV featured a number of third and fourth team players, demonstrating the club’s strength in depth.
It took the first half for the team to gel, during which Dorking ran in their tries.
However, the honours were even in the second half with a try apiece, Farnham’s scored from the base of the scrum by No8 Officer Cadet Mike Mitzi, on leave from RMA Sandhurst, as the match finished 15-33.
The club enjoyed winning ways on Sunday when the women’s first XV, the Falcons, ran out 52-22 winners at Crowthorne RFC.
This convincing league victory was sealed by tries from Ella Wilson (2), Beki Hardman and Zoe Robinson. Zoe also converted three of those tries, including her own.
Furthermore, Rachel Gold, one of the original group of women to form the Falcons, not only scored her first try for the club but then went on to score two more to complete her hat-trick.
Courtney Trodd contributed to the healthy score with three conversions.
The first XV have had a stuttering start to the second half of the season as the matches against Camberley and KCS Old Boys were postponed as a result of Covid issues.
The games have been rescheduled for February 5 and 26 respectively.
For their next game on January 22, the team travel to Rochester to face Medway RFC, who are currently third in London 1 South.