Vintage athletes take to rugby field

Visiting team: From left,  Phil Graham, Eric Watling, John O'Donnell, Bruce Lee and Pat Arnold from the Grafton Bullrouts.
Visiting team: From left, Phil Graham, Eric Watling, John O'Donnell, Bruce Lee and Pat Arnold from the Grafton Bullrouts.
RIGHT  Tough as old boots:?74-year-old Ian Hay playing for the Eastwood Charcoals with his boots that have played 246 games up until 1983 and also played 62 games for Balmain Tigers in the NSW Rugby League.

RIGHT Tough as old boots:?74-year-old Ian Hay playing for the Eastwood Charcoals with his boots that have played 246 games up until 1983 and also played 62 games for Balmain Tigers in the NSW Rugby League.

Father and son: Craig Toomey played for the Wrinkled Horns on Saturday and Ray Toomey took to the park for the Vintage Ports.

Father and son: Craig Toomey played for the Wrinkled Horns on Saturday and Ray Toomey took to the park for the Vintage Ports.

Girls day out: Katy Lee, Tammie Breneger, and Pammy Oilver enjoy the day.

Girls day out: Katy Lee, Tammie Breneger, and Pammy Oilver enjoy the day.

Quick duck: Nigel Swift, Ricky Duck and Peter Hollins.

Quick duck: Nigel Swift, Ricky Duck and Peter Hollins.

Big men: Chef Roddon, Peter Thompson and Steve Cherry catch up after a game at Stuart Park.

Big men: Chef Roddon, Peter Thompson and Steve Cherry catch up after a game at Stuart Park.

RAIN failed to dampen the spirits of some vintage athletes on the rugby field in Port Macquarie on Saturday.

Teams from far and wide converged on Stuart Park in a competition where the score didn't matter. Each match always ends up a draw.

Light rain fell on Saturday after the deluge on Friday, but Stuart Park held up well, games co-ordinator Danny Crisp said. "It's a very good ground," he said.

"It was in perfect condition despite the rain."

A big part of the weekend is the annual trophy match between the Vintage Ports and Eastwood Charcoals the burnt-out woods teams. It's engraved with the winner's name before the match.

"I think it was our turn to win in this year," Crisp said. "The score doesn't matter."

After the day the players flocked to the El Paso Motor Inn for dinner.

"We had about 64 for the dinner," Crisp said.

The movement is always on the lookout for new players to join either the Vintage Ports or Wrinkled Horns teams.

Crisp wasn't sure if he would pull on the boots next year again or not.

"I'm always saying I'm going to retire," he said. "I think I'm easing out."

The Mid North Coast Rugby season kicks off in May. Pirates will defend the title.

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This story Vintage athletes take to rugby field first appeared on Port Macquarie News.