The Anthony Fitzgerald Cup-match report

Blackheath 24 Old Colfeians 10

On a cold and windy night, with driving rain blowing horizontally across the pitch for most of the first half, the next generation of Blackheath and Old Colfeians players did both clubs proud by producing an exciting match in pursuit of the Anthony Fitzgerald Cup.

A physical encounter (only to be expected between these two great rival clubs) was played in a very good spirit and produced some sparkling moments on a night when the ball bore more resemblance to a bar of soap, and freezing hands were forgiven for the occasional knock-on. Blackheath dominated the early set piece exchanges with a driving scrum, but Colfeians battled hard in response, and both back lines made valiant attempts to run the ball hard at each other. The final score of 24-10 was possibly harsh on Colfeians but Blackheath used the elements wisely in the second half to build territorial dominance through shrewd kicking from hand, and converted the resulting opportunities with well taken tries.

The match was billed as an Under 23 age group match and both teams welcomed back several former Colts players, home from University for the Christmas holidays. The match was arranged in memory of former Blackheath player, Anthony Fitzgerald, and to raise funds in support of the Charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) which does so much good work to raise awareness of potential cardiac issues in young people. Around 300 supporters from both clubs attended the match which, considering the weather conditions, was a terrific turnout. Most stayed behind afterwards to continue the Christmas celebrations in the warmth of the Bar, and to renew the friendships that exist between both clubs.

Thanks to the organisers, the players and the coaches for arranging a great event, and of course to the match officials — let’s make sure this match becomes an annual fixture in the diary in future years.

Nathaniel and Ethan with Noel

The Teams

The captains – Nathaniel Ticehurst and Ethan Collins

The Match officials

James Fleming

29 December 2022