Melton Mowbray RFC take up football for Tom Neal Trophy match

The Melton RFC teams line up for the annual Tom Neal Trophy match EMN-141230-103704002
The Melton RFC teams line up for the annual Tom Neal Trophy match EMN-141230-103704002
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Melton Rugby Club were forced to switch sports and use a round ball to decide this year’s Tom Neal Trophy match on Saturday.

Boxing Day’s snowfall ruled out the traditional game of rugby so organisers of the fundraising memorial match decided to play football instead on the snowbound pitch.

A large number of players and supporters turned out to watch the over 35s team of Middleton’s Marauders defeat Brook’s Barbarians 3-1.

Paul Blagburn scored twice and Trevor Ashley poached a goal after Joe Chirico’s shot was saved, while Dave Osborne replied with a late consolation for the younger side.

The Josh Crump Man-of-the-Match Award went to Andy Stockdale for an all-action display in midfield, edging out fellow contenders Kev Lee, Chris Rose and Alan Wade. Marauders’ centre-half Allan Spence was the clear winner of the Jim’s Big Tackle award, given in memory of Jim Kempin.

More than £1,200 was raised for Cancer Research UK from an auction and raffle before the players were entertained in the clubhouse by musician Howard Rose. The club wishes to thank organisers Brian Hesford and Ben Shouler.

* On Saturday, the action at Melton RFC gets serious as the First XV host Bedworth in the RFU Midlands Senior Vase quarter-finals (ko 2.15pm).

Victory would put Gareth Collins’ side just three wins away from a dream Twickenham final.