A fitting send-off for Alnwick rugby pitch

Sheepfield rugby pitch at Alnwick Rugby Club.
Sheepfield rugby pitch at Alnwick Rugby Club.

A special match was staged at the weekend to mark the end of an era at Alnwick Rugby Club.

The Greensfield outfit is saying goodbye to two pitches, due to the town’s new high school development.

The Sheepfield match at Alnwick Rugby Club.

The Sheepfield match at Alnwick Rugby Club.

The area of land to be lost is affectionately known as the Sheepfield and on Sunday, a veterans’ game was played between Alnwick and Berwick to honour the plot. Fittingly, Alnwick won the match 26-24, to give the Sheepfield the perfect send-off.

Andrew Aitchison was awarded man-of-the-match for playing for both sides and the trophy was awarded by Andrew Little, of Alnwick Accountants Ltd, who sponsored the match.

The fixture was played in good spirit and nearly 200 people turned out.

Andy Spencer started the event with his pipes and also ran the line. International official Ian Ramage refereed. A special Sheepfield punch was served in commemoration.

The Sheepfield holds fond memories for many. The field is rig and furrow land from the open-field system of farming which produced ridges and troughs. As a result, it left a lot to be desired as a rugby pitch.

Legs would buckle as players ran up and down the rigs and furrows and they played havoc with line-outs. The land also made scrums an interesting affair.

Rightly named the Sheepfield, players often returned to the dressing room with more than grass stains on their kit.

The veterans’ team (over 45) is a new concept at Alnwick, giving ex-players a chance to put on their rugby boots again.