The inaugural Province of Northumberland versus the Province of Durham charity rugby match, the Northumberland Masonic Rugby Club (Wok Smugglers), in support of the year-long campaign for Byker Masonic Hall's 2012 two chosen charities, are pleased to advise that through their combined efforts the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund and the Teenage Cancer Trust are looking healthier to the tune of £2,000.
Over a year in the planning, the long-awaited rugby match took place at Ryton Rugby Club on Saturday 30 June 2012, rearranged from the original venue at Novocastrians Rugby Club due to storms of biblical proportions hitting the North East of England two days previously.
Both teams were presented to W Bro David Lillie who represented the Province of Northumberland, with W Bro George Clark being in attendance on behalf of the Province of Durham. The game itself ended in a fine victory for the Northumberland representatives, who ran out 62 – 10 winners.
Man of the match awards chosen by the rival teams gained approval by a healthy crowd of 150 or so hardy souls. Durham’s number 2, Adam Hill, and Northumberland’s 19, Dan O’Sullivan, received the respective accolades. O’Sullivan’s staggering haul of four tries and four conversions totalling 28 points marked him out as the superior player on the pitch. Credit should go to the mascots and ball boys for the day, Ethan White, Ethan Lavender and Mason Miller, who ensured a flowing game never flagged. A special mention should go to referee Alan Dickinson for officiating a game of novices with little knowledge of the game rules.
The after match celebrations were held at Byker Masonic Hall, where a well attended evening saw an emotional presentation of the Alice Gingell Memorial Trophy to Captain Mick Prior and Vice Captain Frazer Hill by the Gingell family.
The evening raised even more money for the charities by those very generous attendees, where players, wives and partners enjoyed a magnificent evening of fun and entertainment to round off the day.
Another story to come out of the match was when W Bro Andrew Smith's son Peter put his weight behind the event. Peter Smith had carried the Olympic torch through Prudhoe on Saturday 16th June and brought the torch along on the day. Peter agreed to have his photo taken of the torch with those who attended in exchange for a donation towards the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund. Peter was keen to help this worthy charity as he has been a recipient of their efforts in the past. He raised £120 which will be added to the ongoing campaign.