Bargoed RFC travelled to the borders of Scotland for their bi- annual pilgrimage to Hawick, to challenge for the cherished Butters Cup against old friends Hawick Quins.
The Warriors as usual were in full on 100% tour mode but Steffan Jeremiah had actually decided to rest up after the eight hour bus trip in preparation for the big game the following day and spent Thursday night in the hotel
The rest of the boys stayed on the orange juice and non alcoholic lager, but amazingly by kick off on Friday afternoon there were some sore bodies on display even before a ball had been kicked. How did they get those hangovers, were those Scottish boys spiking their drinks?
Bargoed started well though and played some excellent attacking rugby with the outstanding Adam Jones in superb form as a stand in stand off.
The Quins scored first and went 7-0 up but Bargoed weren’t going to lie down and it was veteran Ian Jenkins who went over for the first Bargoed try, Craig Wilson converted to make it 7-7.
Ryan Sadler, Nathan Jones and Steffan Jeremiah were prominent up front and player coach team manager Gary Jones was making the hard yards behind the scrum.
Unfortunately one of the Quins players dislocated his knee so there was a 25 minute stoppage as they awaited an ambulance.
When the game re-started it was the Quins who held the upper hand and managed to get a couple of tries.
Bargoed were now on the back foot and the last two days travelling (and alcohol) was taking its toll as there were some heavy legs and a few hangovers on display. The Quins took advantage and finished Bargoed off with a final try to make it 24-7.
Well done to the Bargoed players who fought valiantly, great effort boys.
It was good to see some Bargoed supporters in the stand and it was like a Rugby Who’s Who in the stand with Bargoed tour veterans Hywel Jones and Mike Thomas there along with their better halves Viv and Tirion.
Ex Bargoed RFC Coach
Roger Thomas was also present with long serving WRU and great rugby man Peter Owens, and so was British Lion, Scotland and Hawick legend Jim Renwick, who is also an ex Coach of the Quins. It was good to see Ex Bargoed and Quins player and now Hawick resident Brian Casson at the game as well.
The Butters Cup will remain in Hawick this year but next year when The Quins visit Bargoed we’ll do everything that we can to get it back.
Rhys ‘Butters’ Jones was a popular member of Bargoed RFC and had visited Hawick previously so this does mean a lot to both clubs as we remember him every year and continue this fantastic friendship in his memory.
Bargoed RFC were treated to a superb reception after the game at the Hawick Quins Clubrooms with a piped band on display and a good sing song late into the evening. One of the pipers even accompanied Mike Thomas and Jeremy Rogers in a soulful rendition of ‘The Mull of Kintyre’
This was the 53rd year of the association between Bargoed RFC and Hawick Quins RFC and we look forward to many more years as the players forge friendships with the boys at Hawick that last a lifetime.
This time there were a few notable absentees and our best wishes go out to a few Hawick tour stalwarts Alan Lovell, Peter Bufton, Gordon Adams, and Gary and John Williams who couldn’t make the trip this time due to ill health or family commitments. Hopefully we will see them on the next trip in two years.
There was however a Bufton in the Bargoed ranks and although Quins legends Big Ronnie and Phil Nichol were disappointed that Mr Bufton couldn’t make it, they were pleased that there was a Bufton on tour in the shape of Peter’s grandson Ryan Sadler.
Ryan was keen to beat Peter’s long standing record of eating three big breakfasts (in the same morning) at the Elm House Hotel, and he achieved that along with ten rounds of toast (none of it burned mind)
Well done and thank you to The Quins and in particular your President John Peffers for your hospitality.
Big thanks to Neil Carter, Toby Richards and Gary Jones for organising everything, and thank you to the Elm House Hotel in Hawick for hosting us and your generous match ball sponsorship.
We look forward to seeing you and doing it all again in Bargoed for the 54th time, and hopefully keeping the Butters Cup in Wales.
An interesting thought, how many Welsh clubs had one side playing in Wales on Friday evening (well done to the 1st XV who beat RGC) and at the same time one side playing in Scotland? Answers on a postcard please!!
Bargoed RFC one club one community, rugby for all.