“ It took only a couple of beers to firm up a collective decision to support the Ladies in this away fixture!”
On Friday 12th of January, eight intrepid Members of the Supporters Club flew off from Gatwick to support our fantastic Ladies team in their Sunday match against Guernsey. The seeds of the trip were sown some months previously, when we had attended the home game against Guernsey. Inspired by the high standard of play we had witnessed, it took only a couple of beers to firm up a collective decision to support the Ladies in the away fixture!
Once settled in Guernsey, we set off for the Cock and Bull pub which had been highly recommended. We found the pub closed (January is not the best time to visit, many restaurants, pubs take their annual holiday at this time). An executive decision was taken and we chose to pop in for a quick afternoon drink at the pub next door, The Cornerstone. Little did we know that fate had done us an enormous favour!
We met Trish, an Irish barmaid, well in fact landlady, as she seemed to manage the whole pub and quickly made us welcome and proved to be outstandingly professional in every way. One beer turned into two, three.. and we mentioned to Trish that some of the Ladies rugby team would be joining us later. No problem, came the reply and Trish put a Reserve sign on the table behind us.
The Ladies joined us in the early evening; great conversations, drinks and lots of singing followed superbly led by Paula. In fact, at one point, a question was put to Trish ‘Do you mind us singing?’ ‘No’ came the reply, ‘It’s brilliant and keeping everybody here, no one is leaving, carry on, carry on!
Saturday morning was a rather more sedate affair. Some took to walking and touring the island on the local buses whose emphasis on punctuality had to be experienced to be believed. The more adventurous took on a tour of the local Gin factory, conveniently located right next door to our B&B (fate was definitely on our side!). The tour had been organised by lady members of the advanced party of players and accompanied by a number of supporters; two bottles of Gin and several tasters later it was back to The Cornerstone to rehydrate and regather.
One of our most sartorially impressive supporters, a certain Mr Brian Jones, sported proudly a splendid and historic London Welsh scarf. A certain Amy, took a fancy to the scarf and after lengthy negotiations, it was agreed that if Amy scored a hatrick of tries in the game, the scarf would generously become hers!
On the Sunday we arrived early at the ground. Surprisingly the first voice we heard was a Welsh one, the Guernsey coach is from West Wales, cue chat with Roy. On arriving in the club, we were greeted by yet another Welsh voice, the caretaker was from Cwmbran. ‘Been here long?’ We asked. ‘55 years came the reply, ‘Only go back to Wales for funerals now, costs me £130 for each funeral. Expensive business!’ He generously took us to their trophy cabinet and showed us an impressive array of trophies, the most distinctive being the Siam Cup which two Guernsey army officers serving in Siam had brought back to Guernsey created from Siamese currency. The cup is fought for annually between Guernsey (local nickname the Donkeys) and Jersey (the Crapauds, the Toads).
We all waited excitedly for the start of the game! It did not disappoint, we witnessed one of the most exciting of Ladies games. Two well matched, contrasting styles of play and some outstanding rugby from both sides. Our Ladies took the lead, inevitably in some ways from a well worked move, finished by Amy who was greeted with a chorus from the stand ‘two more for the scarf, two more for the scarf.’ However, it wasn’t to be a hat trick for Amy on this occasion and, for now, the scarf remains with its original owner.
Another try put us 10 nil ahead but Guernsey fought back well into the game, scored one try ( the failed conversion under the posts proving decisive in the end) and another on the close of the half.
The second half proved equally thrilling and, all in all, 3 tries apiece and a 15-15 draw was a fair result for both sides.
Whilst the spoils were shared equally on the field, the points difference off the field were definitely in Welsh’s favour with Paula leading once more enthusiastic renditions of Hymns & Arias, Delilah and many others!
What a memorable weekend!
Thanks girls, you were a credit on and off the field and it was a treasure to be with you all and to support you!
Will we support the return game next season? You bet! Hopefully, Trish will still be at The Cornerstone, I am sure she will remember us!
Haydn Parry - London Welsh Supporters Club Chairman.
The London Welsh Supporters Club was formed in 1978 for the purpose of promoting and supporting London Welsh RFC, Welsh sports, culture and activities.
They will be running AWAY travel from ODP to 6 Nations - Further details can be found here :
London Welsh Women are running a #InnerWarrior free taster session this Saturday - Come along and give it a try!
Updated 16:23 - 8 Mar 2019 by Danny Griffiths