The end of the summer beckons not only the new academic year but also the annual OA Rugby Match, which this year attracted a fantastic number of OAs, staff, family members and friends back to Waste Court Field and its touchlines.
New this year, OAs began by playing two ten minute halves of a touch game in order to warm up, and give an opportunity to play for those who would rather avoid full contact. Once sufficiently ‘warm’, our OAs exhibited brilliant skill on the pitch as they competed in an Under 28 vs Over 28 match – a lively contact fixture that stayed sociable throughout. Players included Peter Eccles (1977) who joined us for one of his final Rugby matches, members of previous First XV squads, our very own Mike Litchfield and many others who continue to play both casually and competitively for university teams or local clubs.
The late summer sunshine was in full beam as the Under 28s powered their way to victory with a final score of 14-12. Our thanks go to our returning OA referee, Tom Finch (2010) who did a marvelous job as ever. All players’ efforts were then rewarded with a buffet lunch in the Hospitality Suite, which itself offered prime views of the First XV’s game that afternoon.
Many thanks go to all returning OAs, spectators and sports staff who took the time to support this event, which is now part of a thriving Festival of Rugby. Thanks must also go to the School’s dedicated grounds team, which yet again succeeded in preparing an impressive pitch for the occasion – a particular feat considering the hot and thirsty weeks of the past summer.
We very much look forward to welcoming even more members of the Abingdon community back to the School for next year’s OA fixture which is due to take plave on Saturday 5 September.