Rain Showers, Scrums and Smiles as OS Rugby Returns to the hallowed turf of Witherden Field.
After a break of year due to frozen pitches in 2022, enthusiastic OS rugby players spanning 25 years of Leavers made the intrepid journey back to the College to represent both the Under and Over 23’s teams.
Following on from a hard fought College U6th (Leavers) vs L6th (Remainers) match which saw the L6th team edge to victory the OS were in high spirits as they donned their OS shirts with pride. The Under 23s Team playing in blue and the Over 23s Team playing in red.
Torrential rain made conditions on Witherden Field more attractive for the players scoring tries than for the hardy group of spectators trying to stay dry on the touchlines but spirits were far from dampened as the match got underway. Spectators keeping out the winter chills by enjoying hot refreshments provided throughout the match.
Both teams played with passion, skill and determination from the first whistle to the last. Competing to raise the coveted ‘The Billy Hookway Trophy’. A trophy which has been generously donated by Wendy & Alan Hookway and Sarah Barrett (nee Hookway) (YH, 96-98) and dedicated in loving memory of their Son & Brother, Billy Hookway (HH,00-02) who sadly passed away from cancer in August 2020 at the age of just 36.
Billy was a key and hugely popular member of the legendary unbeaten College 1st XV Rugby team of 2001 and a very proud Husband and Father to four young Daughters. He formed strong and lasting friendships during his time at the College and was liked and respected by all.
The match scoreline belies the truly competitive play on the pitch throughout the match but with pride we announce that the 2023 holders of the Billy Hookway Rugby Trophy are the Over 23s Team, winning 55 - 0.Both teams were a true credit to the OS community that they so expertly represented. Playing with determination and with the upmost respect for their opposition, camaraderie and positivity epitomising the spirt of the match, both teams coming together at the final whistle for a joint huddle with their outstanding teams coaches.
The Billy Hookway trophy expertly and proudly presented by Billy's young Niece and Nephew, Eliza and Frank.
This second presentation means that the Billy Hookway Trophy has now been presented to both the Under 23s Team and the Over 23s Team in turn – victory will be all to play for in 2024!
Huge congratulations to our OS Over 23s Team and huge thanks to those that helped to make the afternoon a huge success!
Prizes presented by OS President Steve Ross (GH,SHa, 65-72)
OS Under 23s Player of the Match: Ed Lewin (PP,GH,SUH, 07-21)
OS Over 23s Player of the Match: Harry Keam (RPH, 08-13)
Both Captains did a fabulous in rallying great squads, not an easy task given the timing of Uni terms and geographic locations of many players, for this we are hugely thankful:
OS Under 23s Captain : Lucas Dunkley (PP,NH,RH,RPH, 09-23)
OS Over 23s Captain: Jake Morris (WH,CH, 10-19)
Captains ably assisted by OS team coaches Alex Swart-Wilson & Paul Bashford (MJH,GH,SH, 77-86)
Huge thanks to the Referee Matt Bendin & Head of Rugby Clive Bloemink and Senior Groundsman Ben Baker - without the support of all 3 we wouldn’t have a match to play.
Extensive match photo gallery included below – log in to your online portal profile to view them.
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