Tuesday 1st January 2019
Furness 39 -
It was another fantastic New Years Day at Furness Rugby Club in perfect conditions for rugby. The pitch was in excellent condition despite the recent wet weather, the large crowd was enthusiastic and the players were up for it. Unfortunately your reporter saw nothing of the game, spending most of the day in the kitchen, however, it was hard fought by both sides with no quarter given. So much so that after 20 minutes there had been no score. As players understandably started to tire Furness established a comfortable lead, however a scratch Orsted team came back strongly making the final score Furness 39 Orsted 24; the first Furness victory in the three years that the game has been played. Referee Les Hall has to be thanked, managing to referee the entire game from within the confines of what in football terms would be called the centre circle. Despite that he was able to see forward passes and offsides without any difficulty. So impressed were the FA by his performance that he's been drafted in to assist with the introduction of VAR technology into the Premier League.
After the game ended Jill Hughes, widow of late Furness stalwart Ronnie, presented the St Mary's Hospice Cup to the winning captain Corne Els after which spectators and players retired to the clubhouse to await the draw for the raffle. This duly took place, and the winning ticket for the star prize, a magnificent Lake District Farmers meat hamper, was drawn by Lee's father Mark, who once again had made the long journey from Torquay. The owner of the winning ticket was none other than Corne, for his second victory of the day. The unkempt South African lives on raw meat so was delighted with his prize and was last seen heading for the changing rooms with a half eaten lamb chop, blood dribbling down his chin. The players enjoyed a more mainstream post match meal of the finest gourmet sausage, beans and chips marred only by Dan Sayle leaving six uneaten beans and half a chip on his plate!!
The after match festivities continued with the men of the match from both sides entertaining the packed clubhouse with a boat race, won in style by Orsted. As the crowd started to dwindle, and the music got louder, club mascot and Furness's answer to Craig Revel Horwood, Craig McQuistan, entertained the die-
Proceedings finally came to an end just before 11pm when some very tired looking people dragged themselves homewards. It only remains to thank all those concerned with the day, both on and off the pitch, whether they be players, club officials, bar staff or those willing volunteers who helped out getting in raffle prizes and selling raffle tickets. They know who they are and most of those present know who they are. Along with Lee's family they all helped to make it a great day. Most importantly however Furness wishes to thank the generosity of all those who donated raffle prizes, who bought raffle tickets, who paid their entrance fee to watch the game and who very generously put money in the collecting buckets. The final figure has yet to be determined but it looks like it will be £1850 or thereabouts, meaning the Hospice for Furness and the Bluebell Foundation, charitable causes dear to Lee's family's hearts, will each receive £925 -