Presentation Dinner

Just over 50 players attended the Sidmouth Rugby Club end of season Presentation Dinner, which was held in the Clubhouse on Friday 7th May.

Chairman Terry O’Brien told those assembled that they could look back with satisfaction on a season in which the club had maintained its status in the top echelons of Devon rugby. The Chiefs have retained their position in the South West league and have qualified to take part in the Senior Cup once again next season.

Third Team captain Hakim Bakrim reported that the team had competed well in their first season of Merit Table rugby, finishing third. He presented the Third Team player of the year trophy to Dan Prettyjohn.

The Quins will compete in the top Devon Merit Table again next season. Vice Chairman Dave Whelan presented the 2nd Team Player of the Year trophy to Bryn Thomas and the 2nd Team Most Improved Player was Richard Hodges.

Coach Andy Matchett, who is standing down after three years, presented the Player of the Year trophy to Nick Mills, who was receiving it for the second year running. The Most Improved Player award went to Ben Halford.

In recognition of his contribution as coach, presentations were made to Andy Matchett by both the Committee and the players.

The formalities came to a close with the presentation of the cup for Clubman of the Year to Steve Trim in recognition of his completion of five years as captain of the 1st XV.

Max Hansford Appointed as New Coach

For the first time in ten years, Sidmouth Rugby Club have appointed a coach from within its own ranks. Max Hansford took on the position of Head Coach at the beginning of the month.

As expected, Andy Matchett has stepped down after three seasons. The former Plymouth Albion and Cornish All Blacks player returned to Sidmouth in 2007 to act as player coach, a role in which he achieved notable success. In his first season he guided the Chiefs to promotion to the South West Two League, where they achieved a top half finish in 2008. Last season they retained their place in the league and reached the semi-final of the Devon Senior Cup for the first time in 30 years.

Max Hansford is the first product of the Sidmouth Junior section to graduate to the position of Head Coach. He made his debut for the Chiefs in 1989, while still a Colt. He quickly established his place in the team before moving to Exeter in order to test his ability at a higher level. He has also played a high level of rugby in South Africa and the USA. He eventually returned to Sidmouth and a regular place on the wing, or at full back. He was captain in the 2001-2002 season.

He brings a good deal of experience and enthusiasm to the job of coach. He took an early interest in coaching and has worked his way up to the RFU level two. He had a successful spell coaching the Colts and has acted as an assistant coach with the seniors for a number of years. After a long apprenticeship, both he and the Club believe that he is ready to take on the main role.

Sidmouth RFC history book now on sale

"At the Heart of the Town" - the 125 year history of Sidmouth Rugby Club - written by Terry O'Brien is now on sale priced £12.

Copies can be bought from the bar in the clubhouse or order from Terry O'Brien at ", They are also on sale at Paragon Bookshop in High Street.
2 Rivulet Cottages, Church Street, Sidford, Sidmouth, EX10 9RD; Tel 01395 577403 or email via this website. Delivery is free in the Sidmouth area otherwise add £1-50 for postage and packing.

Season Ends With Successful Charity Sevens


The rugby season came to its traditional close at the Blackmore, on Sunday 2nd May, with the Annual Charity Sevens, sponsored by Fords of Sidmouth. A good crowd braved the cold north westerly wind to watch nine teams play for the three available trophies.

The teams were divided into three groups of three for the qualifying stage. The Mixi Rabbits, a team whose average age was only 38 because it contained a 28 year old, and Dukes, average age approximately half that, won their groups comfortably. They scored an impressive 114 and 117 points respectively in doing so. The other group was more closely contested, with two drawn games. The winners were Transformers 2 with the only victory. These three were joined in the Cup semi finals by the Colts, who were the best second placed team thanks to a massive 66-0 win over The Waterboys, who were eliminated with the worst record.

The other four teams contested the Shield semi finals, with the Show Ponies and TC Top Cats emerging victorious. In the Shield final the Show Ponies lived up to their names and were soundly beaten 33-14. Thus TC Top Cats retained the trophy they won last year.

In the Cup semi finals Transformers 2 outlasted the Mixi Rabbits to win 28-14, while Dukes confirmed their status as favourites by overwhelming the Colts 42-0.

The losing sides then contested the Plate final in which Mixi Rabbits showed age-defying stamina to overcome a halftime deficit of 19-21 and win 43-21.

The Cup Final was also close at halftime, but Dukes showed the value of sobriety by running away in the second half to win 49-14 against Transformers 2, who proved, once again, that lager and cider are not performance enhancing drugs.

On the day more than £500 was raised for Shelterbox, with more to come once the collection buckets have been opened.

Record number attend historic Ex Players Lunch

A record number of 67 ex players attended the Annual Bingley Pullin Memorial Lunch on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Club's first ever game, which was played at Exeter on 1st November 1884.

An excellent four course meal was followed by the usual reminiscences of past glories and good humoured conversation.

Mugs were presented to four players who were unable to attend the presention, in September, to those selected in the list of the top 50 players of the modern era. They were 'Hovis' Brown, Pat Coleman, Bryan Jones and Duncan Nice (accepted on his behalf by Phil Thorne).