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Old Northamptonians succeed in 24 hour challenge

14 May 2012

  • Four games in a four nations Old Northamptonians
  • Tour raises £10,000 for Benevolent Fund
Old Northamptonians at Chester, having played four matches in four different countries in 24 hours

Photo: RFU Archive

Old Northamptonians set a World Record by playing four full matches in four nations within 24 hours over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The hectic schedule took in matches against Grosvenor RFC in Belfast, Wigtownshire in Scotland, Chester in England and Wrexham in Wales.

The Old Northamptonians party, with players aged from 18 to 59, took an early morning flight from East Midlands Airport to Belfast City Airport before the match against Grosvenor which was played at Malone RFC.

Old Northamptonians were beaten 15-12 in their tour opener and then travelled by evening ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan and they then arrived at Stranraer Academy where they played Wigtownshire under floodlights with an 11pm kick-off.

Despite the late hour Old Northamptonians managed to draw 20-20 with their Scottish hosts before they departed for an overnight coach journey to Chester.

They arrived at Chester in time for a 9am kick-off on Sunday morning and loaned their hosts seven players to ensure the third match was played.

A 20-0 win at Chester was followed by a shorter journey across the Welsh border to Wrexham for an early afternoon kick-off. The 24 hour tour ended with a narrow defeat but Old Northamptonians returned home to a celebration party and in the knowledge that they had raised £10,0000 for the ONRFC Benevolent Fund.

The Fund is a registered charity that has already helped provide rugby kit to primary schools in Northamptonshire.

“I would also like to congratulate all of the ONs players and support crew for accepting and succeeding in the challenge to play four full games of rugby in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales in less than 24 hours.  It was an incredible achievement and I am extremely proud to have played play alongside them,” said Old Northamptonians spokesman Andy Thompson.