A fantastic attendance of more than 200 spectators and 45 players helped Melton RFC raise £1,350 in honour of late Oakham player Savanaca Koroibulileka.
The club moved their traditional Boxing Day fixture back 24 hours and this year pledged the funds raised to the family of Koroibulileka, who died on the pitch earlier this season.
A great family day saw both former players and university students back to support the cause.
A cold and bright winter’s day attracted players of all ages, ranging from Brad Johnson (17) to the youthful Joe Chirico (59), as a mix of first team flare, wily veteran tenacity and the speed of youth creating a very open interclub game between over 25s and under 25s XVs.
Marcus Badham, playing at fly-half, threw double miss passes which hit the target, Kieran Stone, on occasion, allowing the potential for side step and fluidity, and stunning captain Peter Broughton.
The U25s were served well with pace from Adam and James Woolley, Harry Wood and Aiden Brookes who opened the scoring when he cut through the steely defence of Ben Shouler.
A glimpse of hard running and dynamic skill was seen from back row Tobias Mishuida and Will Ward which put the older team back on the scoreboard and in contention.
The exuberance of youth drove Jordan Pawley, Christian Jeremiah, Garry McCann and Ollie Circuit to take the direct route through the older pack, but scrum-half Harry Cank and fly-half Wilf Carrier soon shipped the ball wide for another try.
The seniors required an injection of fitness, speed and dynamism from substitutes Alan Wade, Dan Belcher, the versatile Wayne Greaves and Peter Woolley who had to brush off persistent tackling from both Adam and James Woolley to make an impact on the game.
The scores were brought ever closer as the youthful Mark Lobley crashed over for a try.
The younger side held on well for the last 10 minutes to run out 49-39 winners with Brad debuting at front row, and Josh Buxton and Josh Haywood putting their bodies on the line to prevent a score.
They underlined the strength of the club’s youth and their determination to push for places among the highly competitive senior sides.
Match referee John Hill said: “Different age ranges interpret the rules in different ways which makes the task more interesting, however it was played in good spirit and brought all the teams together for a good cause.”
The club wishes to say a special thanks to Ragdale Hall, John Hill Coaches and Greenline Services for supporting the event.