Inter-Provincial Charity Rugby Match
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Inter-Provincial Charity Rugby Match

Province of Northumberland verses Province of Durham
(Rugby may never be the same but charity is always the winner!)

The Northumberland Masonic Rugby Club, in support of the year-long campaign of various events for Byker Masonic Hall's 2012 two chosen charities, are pleased to advise that through the efforts of both the Freemasons of Northumberland and Durham, the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund and the Teenage Cancer Trust are looking healthier to the tune of £2000.

Over a year in the planning, the long awaited rugby match took place at Ryton Rugby Club on Saturday 30 June 2012, re arranged from the original venue at Novocastrians Rugby Club, sadly underwater from the recent storms of biblical proportions to hit the North East of England two days previously.

Both teams were presented to W. Bro. David Lillie who represented The Province of Northumberland with W. Bro. George Clark being in attendance on behalf of the Province of Durham.

The game itself ended in a fine victory for the Northumberland representatives, who ran out 62 – 10 winners.

Considering the lack of experience by many members of both sides, great credit for sterling performance should be levied toward every player. Long standing rugby sportsmen showed understandable experience, shepherding their team mates well and some of the moves and tactics shown were truly outstanding as a result.

Man of the match awards chosen by the rival teams gained approval by a healthy crowd of 150 or so hardy souls. Durham’s number 2, Adam Hill and Northumberland’s 19, Dan O’Sullivan received the respective accolades. O’Sullivan’s staggering haul of four tries and four conversions totalling 28 points marked him out as the Man of the Match.

Credit should go to the mascots and ball boys for the day, Ethan White, Ethan Lavender and Mason Miller, who ensured a flowing game never flagged and a special mention to referee Alan Dickinson for officiating a game of novices with little knowledge of the game rules by a number of the participants is particularly necessary.

The after match celebrations were held at Byker Masonic Hall, where a well attended evening saw an emotional Presentation of the Alice Gingell Memorial Trophy to Captain Mick Prior and Vice Captain Frazer Hill by the Gingell family. The evening raised even more money for the charities by those very generous attendees, where players, wives and partners enjoyed a magnificent evening of fun and entertainment to round off the day.

Statistics for the match were as follows;



Northumberland Tries Durham Tries
O’Sullivan (4) Hill (1)
Barron (3) Driffield (1?)
Laing (1)
Hills (1)

O’Sullivan (4)


If you want to see more photos, follow the link on Facebook here.

Another wonderful story came out of the Charity Rugby match when W. Bro. Andrew Smith's son Peter put his weight behind the event. Peter Smith had carried the Olympic torch through Prudhoe on Saturday 16th June and brought the torch along on the day.

Peter agreed to have his photo taken of the torch with those who attended in exchange for a donation towards the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund. Peter was keen to help this worthy charity as he has been a recipient of their efforts in the past. Peter raised the fabulous amount of £120 which will be added to the ongoing year long campaign for Byker Masonic Hall's 2 chosen charities for 2012. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter and his family for their efforts on the day.

Some background – Peter Smith (14) was selected by Coke for a number of reasons – He takes part in the Distance Club event and will represent the North at the National championships in a couple of weeks.  This is the same event as his pal Steven Millar has won Paralympics gold medals.  He also takes part in the Newcastle Children’s Rights team with the City Council.  He was happy to raise money for the Sunshine Fund as they bought him his bike which gives him a fair degree of independence when we go out walking the dog.  His ‘other’ charity is DreamFlight which is a national charity that takes disabled children on a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ and he had 10 days in Florida a couple of years ago – no parents, just a jumbo with 200 kids & medical staff – absolutely incredible!

We would also like to thank W. Bro. Dave Watson and W. Bro. Andrew Smith for giving up their time at the Rugby match, as they promoted Freemasonry and the Province of Northumberland on the stand they set up at the entrance to the Rugby Club.

There will be a talk delivered by both Charities, hosted by Commercial Travellers Lodge at Byker Masonic Hall on Friday 19th October 2012. At this talk there will be a deputation by the NMRC at which two cheques will be handed over to both The Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund and the Teenage Cancer Trust from monies raised by the Rugby Club. Other deputations are expected and Brethren are more than welcome but encouraged to contact the Lodge Secretary Bill McLeod.


Link to UGLE website