Tours 2016-

NEWCASTLE 2016               The English flag

The Blue Sox XV travelled to Newcastle on 16th September for their 20th consecutive tour.

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Prior to departure there was the small matter of inducting the five new members into the Blue Sox family.  They were;

  • Alan Thompson
  • Josh Edwards
  • Shane Honeyford
  • Tim Sinton
  • Tim Savage

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On to Newcastle and after an afternoon and evening of relaxation squad headed for Gosforth RFC on Saturday.

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The weather was glorious which made the surroundings look even more superb.

By sheer coincidence it transpired that our own Rory Best had played at Gosforth for a season or two whilst studying in Newcastle.  Gosforth have Rory on their Internationals board.

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When the match kicked off the Blue Sox went on the attack and were soon narrowly ahead. The match was played Barbarian style with very little kicking and was a highly entertaining encounter.

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Unfortunately for the tourists, in the second half, Friday night’s relaxation soon kicked in and Gosforth were back in the game.  Bann suffered injuries to Jackson, Ramsey and Marshall which meant that Richard Clinghan, who hadn’t donned a pair of boots for some time kitted out and took to the field.  His brother James also turned out as a guest for the Blue Sox.   Gosforth took the lead and though the Blue Sox continued to press, the home side held on to secure the win.

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Tour Court was opened with His Honour Jerry Ramsey presiding. When all crimes had been suitably punished Court was adjourned until 2017.

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Gosforth RFC were excellent hosts and are another club who would be made most welcome at Rifle Park should they ever choose to visit.

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Tourists to Newcastle 2016 were;

Andy Baird, Gareth Briggs, Paul Cairns, Brian Clinghan,  Andy Craig, Kris Eadie, Josh Edwards, Mark Fisher, Shane Honeyford, Stephen Jackson, Johnny Johns, Mark Lewis, Stuart Marshall, Roger Martin, Barney McKevitt, Pete McQuaid, John Mullan, Chris Nelmes, Jerry Ramsey, Tim Savage, Tim Sinton and Alan Thompson

 

CONNAUGHT 2017image1 3

Tour photos to follow.

The 21st Blue Sox tour took place on the weekend of 8th – 10th September 2017.  Galway was the location with Galwegians RFC being the host club.

Thirty three tourists met early on Friday morning where 7 new tourists were welcomed into the Blue Sox fold and issued with their tour numbers;

Shane Honeyford #144, Mark Magowan #145, Scott Magowan #146, Neil Walker #147, Chris Berry #148, Calum Boland #149, Ben Cross #150

Four tourists were also inducted into the Senior Tourists group, this being their tenth tour.  They received the much coveted ‘TTT’, the Ten Tour Tie;

Richard Wilson #65, Andy Cowan #82, Francois Viljoen #90 and Chris Nelmes #120

Following a reasonably quiet coach trip to Dublin and then train to Galway the squad settled in for a quiet night before Saturday’s game.

On Saturday the Blue Sox faced Galwegians 3rd XV.  A very close match ensued with the Blue Sox running out as narrow winners.

A fine meal was provided by Galwegians and following the speeches by tour captain, Wil Taylor and Tour Manager, Paul Cairns, ties and plaques were exchanged.

Special awards were made to each side’s man of the match, man of steel and fool of the day.

Tour Court was then called into sitting and under Judge Kris Eadie tour misdemeanours were dealt with.

A new award, the Roger ‘Tip’ McBride salver for best tour newcomer was presented to Neil Walker for his excellent routine.

2017 tourists were;

Paul Cairns, Kris Eadie, Roger Martin, Mark Lewis, Stuart Wickie, Andy Fulton, Stuart Marshall, Chris Nelmes, Francois Viljoen, Andy Cowan, Mark Fisher, Richard Wilson, Andy Baird, Stephen Jackson, Andy Craig, Gareth Briggs, Jerry Ramsey, Neil McKinney, John Mullan, John Robinson, Wil Taylor, Maynard Gilmore, Jonny Mullan, John Woods, Tim Sinton, Alan Thompson, Calum Boland, Ben Cross, Shane Honeyford, Mark Magowan, Scott Magowan, Neil Walker, Chris Berry

 

CARLISLE 2018

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Photos to follow.

The 22nd Blue Sox tour took place on the weekend of 14th – 16th September 2018.  Carlisle was the location with Carlisle RFC being the host club.

Thirty nine tourists met early on Friday.  Two tourists had to drop out at the 11th hour reducing the numbers from 41.  Six new tourists were welcomed into the Blue Sox fold and issued with their tour numbers;

Dave Neill #151, Ben Thompson #153, Jamie Mullan #154, Jordan Mullan #155, Robin Sinton #156, Peter Irvine #157

One tourist were also inducted into the Senior Tourists group, this being his tenth tour.

Mark Fisher #107 received the much coveted ‘TTT’, the Ten Tour Tie.

 

Travel was by coach and onto the Belfast – Cairnryan ferry before coach to Carlisle.  A stop was made en route at the Distillery of Banbridge RFC player, Martin Armstrong.  Enough said.

On Saturday the Blue Sox faced a Carlisle RFC Presidents Select.

A very close, physical match was played with the scores nip and tuck right until the last play when John Woods broke clear to score under the posts.  Jordan Mullan converted with the last kick of the game to end the game in a 38-38 draw.  A fair result for all.

 

A fine meal was provided by Galwegians and following the speeches by tour captain, Gareth Briggs and Tour Manager, Paul Cairns, ties and plaques were exchanged.

Special awards were made to each side’s man of the match, man of steel and fool of the day.

Tour Court was then called into sitting and under Judge Stephen Jackson tour misdemeanours were dealt with.

 

The Roger ‘Tip’ McBride salver for best tour newcomer was presented to Jordan Mullan.

A special word of thanks go to Barry Earl for his arranging matters on the Carlisle side.  An excellent club and will be very welcome at Rifle Park.

2018 tourists were;

 

Paul Cairns, Kris Eadie, Roger Martin, Stuart Marshall, Chris Nelmes, Francois Viljoen, Mark Fisher, Richard Wilson, Andy Baird, Stephen Jackson, Andy Craig, Gareth Briggs, Jerry Ramsey, Neil McKinney, John Mullan, John Robinson, Wil Taylor, Jonny Mullan, John Woods, Tim Sinton, Alan Thompson, Calum Boland, Ben Cross, Mark Magowan, Scott Magowan, Neil Walker, Alan Patterson, Michael Oliver, Oliver Howe, Josh Edwards, James Mathers, Tim Savage, Andy Jelly, Dave Neill, Ben Thompson, Jamie Mullan, Jordan Mullan, Robin Sinton, Peter Irvine