Annual Boxing Day rugby

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The men and women of Mackie FP RFC hauled themselves out of bed on Boxing Day, ignored the sore heads and full stomachs to head to Redcloak to partake in the annual Boxing Day rugby event.

In the best weather conditions in quite a number of months, the Mackie Mammoths kicked off a 10 a side match to contest the ‘Ice Age Cup’ in front of a packed Redcloak.

With some enjoyable rugby being played before them, the supporters enjoyed mulled wine and soup laid on by the wonderful mums of Mackie and there were a few drams being passed around amongst the supporters (and players!)

Ex-player and club stalwart Graeme Gordon was referee for the day and performed admirably and allowed the game to flow. He was even allowed in the post match team photo!

Unfortunately, due to this author’s duties of playing in the later Captains vs Presidents match and a rather hazy memory of the day itself the match result unfortunately is lost into the sands of time, although if anyone is desperate there are probably a few ever youthful Mammoths at the bar at the Marine who will be happy to recount in detail a minute by minute report of the Ice Age Cup match and the result.

The Captains XV vs Presidents XV kicked off after all the players were brought into a huddle and listened to a pre match team talk written by Linda McGinn. Linda’s late husband Paul was a stalwart of Mackie and the trophy for the Boxing day match is named in his honour.

Captain Craig Thompson had at his disposal, most of the 1st XV and 2nd XV whilst President Neil Foster had returning players, visiting players and a sprinkling of 1st and 2nd XV players.

For the first two periods of 20 minutes, it was the Captains side who began to dominate, with a better structure they formed better patterns of play and resulted in a 4 tries to one advantage at half time. A slight re-adjustment of the teams pitting all 6 kiwi’s (4 Mackie boys, 2 visiting) on the Presidents team resulted in an immediate impact and 2 rapid fire scores directly involving the islanders.

However with fitness fading and hangovers kicking in it was the Captains team who rallied and scored another three tries in the second half to win the game.

After one of the most entertaining and quality Boxing Day games in recent memory, the Paul McGinn Quaich was presented to Craig Thompson by Paul’s sister Kathleen.

Post match the club headed down to the Royal Hotel to partake in the man of the match ceremony and contest some games of a different type! A fantastic day and night was had by all and all at Mackie FP RFC wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.