One of DRUFC’s most enduring traditions was observed on Saturday as players and supporters gathered in large numbers to mark the annual Steve Knowles memorial match, an inter-club game played between ‘the youth’ and ‘the experience’.
The trophy was first played for thirty-nine years ago to mark the passing of one of the club’s most promising young players, killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. The Knowles family donated a trophy to be awarded annually in Steve’s memory and so it has been every year since.
This year there was added poignancy as the family of Drew Anderson, past player, junior coach and teacher at Driffield School who passed away suddenly just before Christmas, gathered to mark his passing and. in the case of his sons, John and Mark, play in a game that was worthy of such an occasion.
The game itself was a feast of endeavour and bruising contact as ‘the oldies’ established supremacy in the scrum and maul, and the youngsters out wide and in the line out. No quarter was given as erstwhile teammates tore into one another blowing away piles of turkey and Christmas pudding in what appeared for the first thirty minutes to be a very close game. So tightly-contested was the game that it wasn’t until approaching half time that the youngsters took the lead as they had promised to do with fine try from Ben Dinsdale – the first of three scores he was to notch up.
Ollett at scrum-half and McClarron rolled back the years to test the young Woldsmen’s defence which proved sound. Big hits were coming from all sides as Henry Furbank and Felix Nellen seemingly in a competition to see who could do the best impression of a steamroller.
The second half continued in the same vein, with the youngsters scoring at regular intervals despite some really enterprising play from ‘the oldies’, as the legs tired and the pitch cut up the the game became more attritional. The oldies had the last word as McClarron waltzed over for a much-deserved try for his side and with the final whistle the score stood at 30 5 to the youngsters.
Forty-five players had come down to be a part of this fixture and were all involved at some stage. Some great rugby was played and once again a big thank you to the Knowles family for their continued support of this event that gives us a fantastic opportunity to get everyone together at Christmas and simply play the game for the game’s sake.
The trophy was presented to winning captain Sam Parker by Hayley, Steve’s niece and the men of the match were named as Henry Furbank for the oldies and Sam Tonks for the youngsters.