The Spirit of Rugby Lodge No 9922Thanet Wanderers RFC 6th April 2019
Matt Jury, (SoR Lodge) Bill Higgins, (SoR Lodge) Jason Deacon, (Thanet Wanderers)
Visiting Thanet Wanderers
The weather did not look good and we knew that there was no chance of closing the roof over the playing field, as we were certainly not at Cardiff. However, as always optimism and the thought of not actually playing meant that the weather was immaterial. The prospect of another great day in a rugby club full of likeminded individuals made it all more appealing.
We arrived at Thanet Wanderers Rugby Club, St Peter’ Recreation Ground, Callis Court Road, Broadstairs, CT10 3AE and made our way upstairs to the club house where many were sporting their Yellow and Blue jackets and ties the distinctive colour of this club.
Again like so many other rugby rituals, we made our way to the bar for the afternoons first and much needed refreshment. During that time, transfer money was exchanged, not just for the tickets to dine, but for raffle tickets and a horses in the Grand National.
Unfortunately, you could not select the name of your horse, but had to leave it for fate to decide by pulling a card with your selected horse on. Bill Higgins and myself received Captain Redbeard at 50/1.
With our drinks in hand we made our way through the crowd to join our host Mr Jason Deacon. Jason is the coach of the U14’s, who will be playing tomorrow (Sunday 7th April) in the Kent Cup Final against Medway and Deal.
Jason kindly introduced Bill and myself to the Dads and Mum’s of those children who like us, were here to raise money and to watch the 1st team play Old Cofeians.
The veranda did not look as appealing this week due to the inclement weather which still persisted, however the vast area was a great position to survey the ground, for the forth coming match, which was actually a mixture of year 9 & 10’s from two local schools. Charles Dickins and Royal Harbour Academy. The teams were through funding and sponsorship, playing today in front of the 122 spectators. For many this was the first time they had played in front of such a big crowd, as the schools have not in the past offered rugby.
It was a great game and the kids left the field grinning from ear to ear, with pride, joy and delight brimming over, whilst the crowd lent their support with a cheers and continued applause.
The 1st team made their way out on to a sodden pitch followed by the Old Cofeians. The game began, the Old Cofeians took an early lead, and by half time lead 10 – 3.
The second half began, the game continued in its hard fought battle, Thanet Wanderers slowly made up ground, and then surpassed their opponents, cheers and celebrations rang out, as they went on to win by 26-10.
After the game, we had the privilege of hearing many well delivered speeches, whilst the guest speakers entertained us with stories and tales from their past.
Matty Stewart, a former Scottish International and Prav Mathema, Senior Medical Officer for the Welsh National Rugby Team answered questions form the audience.
I had the privilege of presenting a cheque on behalf of the Spirit of Rugby Freemasons Lodge, to the Under 14’s coach, Jason Deacon for £200. This money will purchase new equipment for the Under 14’s.
The club also held a raffle and auction, a bewildering £9,000 was raised, with £7,500 coming from the Auction alone. This money is going to be donated to the Paul Keohane Sports Fund, a fund that helps young children who would not have normally have the opportunity to play rugby.
Thank you to the Thanet Wanderers for their hospitality and to their 1st team for a superb win over a strong side seeded higher than them in their group.
As to our horse? 16th ! At least it finished.
Matt Jury, Senior Warden of the Spirit of Rugby Lodge 9922