The home of Plymouth Albion burst back into action on Saturday as fans poured into Brickfields to watch Welsh Charity Veterans take on an Armed Forces Legends team.
The return of rugby to Brickfields for the first time in over a year had stars such as Aled Brew, Aled Thomas and Dafydd James lining up for an entertaining afternoon of rugby, in which the Welsh Veterans emerged 38-28 victors.
And entertaining it was. It took no time at all for the Welsh Veterans side to get on the scoreboard, with Aaron Bramwell splitting the defence to open the proceedings with the first of the day’s 10 tries. Rhodri McAtee extended the lead with his try, before the Armed Forces responded with a score of their own through Craig Duncan.
Aled Thomas converted his own try before setting up ex-Wales winger Aled Brew, who walked in to widen the lead once again. As the half drew to a close Wayne Sprangle found the white paint, and with another Thomas conversion the Armed Forces were left chasing a wide deficit at the break.
After a half-time performance by the Plymouth Raiders Cheerleading team, it was the Armed Forces who struck first in the second forty. Chris Lowry caught the Welsh defence napping, and with Dwyer’s conversion the gap began to shorten.
Scott Llewellyn added yet another converted score for the Armed forces before the Welsh sprang back into life through a well-finished try by Damien Hudd.
Despite the game winding down, it was Duncan who had the last word of the afternoon. The fullback darted along the touchline for his second try, which was swiftly converted by Dwyer.
After the game, Welshman Aled Thomas praised the Plymouth crowd for their support and for making the afternoon so enjoyable:
“It was fantastic to have a crowd here today, they’ve done a great job keeping everyone safe and it’s just great to be down here putting on a bit of rugby for them and to raise money for the two charities”.
“That was a tough game, very warm. It was quite obvious we haven’t played in 16 months, so we were definitely blowing at times. I’ll probably be a bit sore tomorrow, but it was great fun. It’s always good seeing old faces and I’m sure we’ll enjoy tonight with a few beers.”
Saturday’s charity game, branded the ‘Thatcher’s Cup’ raised money for charities Rock2Recovery and HeadforChange.
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone that joined us at the game. We were overwhelmed by your support and will endeavour to make every event at Albion one to remember.
– By Alfie Martin
Daffyd James accepting the winner’s cup on behalf of The Welsh Charity Vets.
Our very own Wayne Duncan snatched ‘Man of the match’, presented by former British Lion Scott Quinnell.
Former Albion star Wayne Sprangle leaps highest to secure a lineout.
In the thick of it – match action from the big game
Making a break, former Wales youth international and Barbarian Daffyd Lockier.
Albion’s new signing, Craig Duncan make another clean break.
Halftime spectacular lead by the Raiders Head Coach Emilie Perring.