3XV win the Plate Final
Stylish 6 try win takes the silverware
Amersham and Chiltern’s 3rd XV played Biggleswade’s 2nd XV in a final of rugby; there was breakfast, bus and beer, but more of that later - firstly, who are Biggleswade? Bizarrely, Biggleswade actually started out as a model village in someone’s imagination but then it grew and now it’s a real place where people can plausibly live. Mainly thanks to Katie Price who took advantage of the cheap labour costs in model villages to base a cereals business there and Felix who opened a cat food factory where the tiny little workers would work famously hard. Long story short, there was an uprising in the 70s and now there’s Biggleswade as we know it today. Or don’t know it today. But it would seem crazy that one would never have heard of Biggleswade considering its remarkable origin story. Years later, with the town flourishing, residents got so sick of old cars and messing around on small aeroplanes that they established a selection of sports clubs that got people active and encouraged healthy competition. The karate club was a success among hip teens but it was the rugby club that truly took off with the new, larger people of Biggleswade. And now that they’d made it to a plate final they were the talk of the town.*
To the rundown of the day - back at Chiltern the troops met up early for a breakfast of bacon and coffee. There seemed to be few pre-game nerves from anyone but as we got on the bus and shirts were handed out while Doug delivered his pre-match speech, we were set up for final day.
We arrived early. Really early. And so we had a long team talk under a tree in a corner.
When that was over, we battled with other teams for space on the training pitch. It was a big place but it was full to capacity with loads of people from a variety of clubs. Some of Biggleswade’s older supporters were placed in a box and carried around as a precaution.
Then Biggleswade’s players made their way to the pitch and we marched over, match shirts on, hair sorted. After definitely not bothering to properly check studs, the referee waited patiently for his touch judge without letting us start. It felt cold at this point.
At last the game kicked off. Davidson surely scored but it was disallowed but then he scored and it was allowed. Then Poth scored with a lovely chip and chase that I can’t remember. Then, just before half time with the game at 14-0 to Chiltern thanks to Culverhouse’s heroic self-sacrifice and their lad punching someone, they scored.
Close going in to the break but it got even closer after the interval as Biggleswade’s winger, the son of a four inch farmer, scored a really quite good solo try.
But then the wheels fell off of Biggleswade’s resolve. Backed by exceptional support and an above-average waterboy, Chiltern dominated, especially in the forwards with Paddy twice going over before the two Jacks, Kenyon and Davidson, each scored to put the game out of sight. Despite a late consolation, Biggleswade were defeated knowing that they would be going back on a dismal journey home in their early 20th Century antique aeroplanes. They were a decent bunch so it’s sad that they might never be seen again.
Nakedly, Chiltern picked up the plate outside the clubhouse and some ate sausages.
On the bus: before we had really got started we had stopped and were left waiting for an unusually long time without explanation. It turns out Doug and Luke had an hilarious time without us gaily pushing each other around in a supermarket trolley and taking ages over it. With all the beer safely on the bus, we gave the bus driver (David Neale’s older brother) the green light and we were off again.
There was singing, chanting and yeehawing, there was beer, port and even crack. There were threats and trials, rules broken and challenges overcome. There was also Dan Kinsey’s driveway, where most people pissed. There was more nakedness with Mike winning the naked run and there was court, with judgments made by Donnebaum despite his numerous indiscretions throughout the day.
From here, with the day reaching its end, Doug took a beer-induced turn for the worse, sprawling on the floor among the piss and mud and old beer. But there was a collective feeling that he had earned the right to be there, wherever and whatever he wanted, it had a been a happy day.
So there it is. Chiltern winning the plate.
Down in history it goes.
Match Report : Lewis Culverhouse
Match Photos : Es Brown