New Year Newsletter
Firstly may we wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Since the last letter there have seen two senior matches at the club. The first on the 21st December v Woodrush. A good display by the 1sts summed up below by JW.
The other was enjoyed by a very large crowd on the Saturday after Christmas. This was the second contest, in what we hope to be a run of many, between Ledburyshire Farmers and a Ledbury XV. On what was a very mild day for the time of year and the pitch holding up well, despite the rain, both teams provided a game that was pretty frantic at times and resulted in a very satisfying score for all. JW has done the honours again.
On the Sunday prior Christmas we held our annual Hamper Raffle. The hampers were again made up of gifts from many in the club especially the Junior parents. As you can see from the photos we have very generous people in the club! Thanks also to Mandi, Charlotte and Jamie for organising such a worthwhile event.
The Christmas Hamper Raffle raised £1357 for the club, well done and thank you.
The new decade started off with a real bang at the club. New year revellers were treated again to the Masquerade Ball including a well attended gin and cocktail bar, a hypnogician (I didn’t see that on the flyer!) and a brilliant firework display at midnight to say goodbye to the old and bring in the new.
Don’t forget that family, friends and especially former players are welcome to the Trevor Bethell lunch on the 25th January. Please book your places/table at the club or contact Jan or Rachel on 01531631788.
Thank you to those from the club who purchased Christmas trees, this has raised £250 for the Little Princess Trust, the Club’s charity of the season.
LRFC 1st XV Match Report v Woodrush 23 Nov 2019
Ledbury 35 Woodrush 11
After last weeks below par performance, Ledbury were looking to redeem themselves and from the kick off looked a different team- fluent and aggressive, moving the ball through the hands and kicking intelligently, probing into the Woodrush 22 from the outset. Hallett was prominent, making valuable ground and Bennion was able to fling out a huge pass from which ultimately Ryan Brown was able score in the corner.
Ledbury continued their offensive at the breakdowns and Bennion increased the lead with a well struck penalty. The first quarter saw Woodrush unable to make any impact due to fierce Ledbury defence. Skyers and Simcock were especially abrasive and from a speculative kick, Hallett was there to touch down and minutes later a scrabble on the Woodrush line resulted in another try. Woodrush were rewarded with a forwards try just before half time, taking the score to 22-8 at the turnaround.
Ledbury’s scrum was also solid, giving a good platform to keep Woodrush in their own half- although they did manage a penalty to keep in touch. Ledbury continued to attack with a vengeance and when a gap opened up as wide as the Cheddar Gorge, Jamie Rayfield took the opportunity with both hands and a fine try converted by Bennion. A stray pass was latched onto the industrious Hallett who was brought down inches from the line illegally and Bennion slotted a simple penalty. Heavy drizzle was now affecting play and Woodrush were unable to create a sustained response. Ledbury signed off with a further score from a 5 metre scrummage – Dan Smith off loaded to Simcock who scored. In summary, a much improved performance which should give Ledbury plenty of confidence for the New Year.
LRFC 1st XV Friendly Match Report v Ledburyshire Farmers Home 28 Dec 2019
Ledbury 12 Ledburyshire Farmers 12
With a welcome respite from league contest Ledbury greeted the Ledbury Farmers for a keen friendly for the second time this season and the fixture was played in front of a huge crowd at Ross Road. A fine way to maintain fitness levels during the festive break, both teams were prepared to provide an entertaining contest, running the ball at every opportunity from the outset.
Prolonged pressure from the Farmers resulted in a converted try for James Porter, a regular figure in the 1st XV, but for once representing the opposition. Ledbury were putting together some great attacking opportunities, but the Farmers responded well, supporting George Bennion’s kicks with enthusiasm. Whenever Ledbury had possession they looked dangerous, Toby Rogers and Jamie Rayfield combining well. A kick pass from Rayfield resulted in a very easy try for Charlie Barber-Starkey in the corner, with Rayfield converting to level at 7-7 at the half way point.
The second half saw the Farmers stick to their physical close support tactics, which Ledbury defended robustly. The Farmers continued to press hard, nearly scoring on several occasions, but unable to finish. The match was a great to and fro arm wrestle, with both sides unwilling to take a step back. Rayfield caught the Farmers defence out again with another kick pass which saw Rogers score an unconverted try. The last 10 minutes saw relentless Farmer attacks ultimately allowing Perry Pudge to score out wide to again level the scores with the conversion drifting wide.
So honours were shared in a most engaging contest, with a sizeable crowd resoundingly entertained. With the popularity of this fixture now well established the intention is to up the odds in future and to compete for a special cup, kindly promised by a local farmer and ex Ledbury 1st XV captain. Split loyalties in the offing? The match will now feature on an annual basis between Christmas and New Year.
Going into the New Decade, the 1st XV look forward with a mix of trepidation, but some recently renewed confidence, to a home match against Old Coventrians this Saturday 4th Jan. Kick off at 2.15.