Once 4 lads from Liverpool wrote
"There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all"
This was the days theme tune and as romantic as it may sound, once in a while days come along that you will remember more than others. This was one of them and why? Fish and chips from our very own James Martin - Elmo to challenge the newly crowned Chip Shop of the Year Fish Face. They were lush!
Anyway we also had a game of rugby that was canny too.
A quite remarkable thing occurred before kick off which were 3 players making themselves available (it's called glory hunting) Ian Wilson who had managed to preen his chest leg and armpit hair to perfection and to top it all had perfectly applied the San Tropez in all the right areas. Adonis had nowt on Blouse. Mark Cholomley who after being asked to play got lashed on Friday night so as to ease the pain of a full shift on the tighthead. Just to clarify Chummers had not waxed or false tanned up. The third was John Greenwell who was sporting a blue pair of Calvin Kleins the sight of which started some involuntary vomiting.
After being presented with the very reasonably priced souvenir t-shirts the lads set about the warm up. Mowden had started theirs on Friday night just before tea and were on to their 27th lap of the pitch when we arrived.
West touched their toes, Willer lathered himself in a final coating of St Tropez and we were off.
Mowden attacked early and were thwarted by some good defence in the shape of Bulmer Sawyer and Cameron.
Mowden were first on the scoresheet. Good driving play by their enormous 6 took them deep into the West 22. A West forward infringed and they struck an easy penalty 0-3.
West then took the lead, from Hamiltons throw and a safe lineout take by Bunter, West drove the Mowden pack backwards. Tighe released Oliphant who weaved his magic and set Wilson off through the Mowden defence to score under the posts. Oliphant missed the extras. 5-3.
The Darlington side were to score again next. After some aerial tennis the Mowden inside centre ran a great line avoiding all sorts of tackles to score under posts and make it 10-5 after the conversion.
West needed to respond and so they did. Again after some solid forward play with Painter Dickson and Cholomley to the fore the ball was spread wide to Wilson who had plenty to do. He broke 2 tackles and slipped the ball to Bulmer who crashed under the posts. Oliphant added the extras 12-10 to West.
West pressed home their superior nous in the backs with another try. With all eyes in defence on the Joey Essex type tan of Wilson the ball was fed to Todd who carved a super line to score under the sticks. 17-10.
Mowden struck back through their 10 who jinked his way passed several defenders to score and when West infringed a few minutes later Mowden led 18-17.
The home team were dealt a blow at this stage when Cameron who was having a fine game was removed from the field with injured ribs. Dixon replaced him in the second row with the live wire Bunter slotting in at 8.
After the break and with the wind in their face West played almost the perfect game. Without the ball it is impossible to play and this is what happened.
Cheshire replaced Tighe at 9 who moved effortlessly to full back. Gavin Painter went to 10 with Olly having a spell in the Oxygen Chamber.
Forward exchanges were tight at times in the early stages and were feisty with Chris Strong and Tim Sawyer shown a yellow a piece for some scrapping on the deck.
Darlington were on the back foot in most phases with a steady stream of penalties being given away. West chipped away at them with kicks to the corner and drives and then some more of the same. Darlington defended well with some great hits going in - the big 6 despatching Dickson to near Catcote Road shops.
West drove close to the line after sustained pressure with a West forward crashing over. It was claimed by the England Deaf veteran Sawyer but TV replays were inconclusive as to whose hand got downward pressure. 22-17.
Wilson missed a sitter of a penalty with 7 to go but made sure with another chance with 4 minutes to go after encouragement from his team mates that he was once a good kicker. 25-17 which remained the final score.
Our thanks go to Darlington Mowden Park who were an excellent team and who never gave an inch all afternoon and who contributed to a tremendous game of Rugby Football. Their day will come.
The Cup which was first played for in 1873 (apparently Graham Frankland was at fullback that day) was presented to Graeme Southern the team mentor and occasional tight head.
Team : Painter, Hamilton, Cholomley, Dickson, Bunter, Sawyer, Cameron, Bulmer, Tighe, Oliphant, Jones, Todd, Wilson, Cole, Parker M.
Reps/subs inc travelling reserves subs Greenwell, Hart, Southern, Dixon, Cheshire, Scott, Parker S, Myers,Bulmer
Technical/Advisory - Campbell and Clayton
Ref: Colin Davidson (Durham Society)
Touch: Ray Sutherland, Mark Wise
Tea : Fish and Chips (tea of Champions).
Presentation Party: Chris Mcloughlin