RUGBY: Former players invited to join AEI’s centenary season celebrations

AEI Rugby ready for their 100th season
AEI Rugby ready for their 100th season

Pitch-side picnic and Ball at Benn Hall with two British Lions

AEI (Rugby) RFC 31 v

A lineout in Saturday's first game of the season

A lineout in Saturday's first game of the season

Aldridge RFC 31

An early start to the AEI Centenary season for a new look AEI RFC and new Captain Lewis Marks saw a closely fought encounter end with neither side able to come out on top. In almost classic cliché it was a game of four quarters with AEI winning the first and last while Aldridge RFC firmly won the middle 40 minutes.

AEI were much the more incisive team and opened the scoring when the back line were able to transfer the ball down the line for Rob Durrant to score the home team’s opener.

Matt Downes should have doubled the score line but an unexpectedly large molehill disrupted his stride pattern bringing his run to the line to an ignominious end. The half ended with AEI ahead 17-14 after Karl Fraser and Harry Valentine both opening their accounts.

Harry Valentine trying to evade an Aldridge tackle

Harry Valentine trying to evade an Aldridge tackle

Wholesale changes at halftime almost proved AEI’s undoing as Aldridge were able to gain a 12 point lead with 15 minutes to play. However, an unconquerable self-belief gave AEI the chance to win with the last kick as first Shane Hunt and then Ran Scott crossed the line to tie the match.

Captain Lewis Marks commented after the game: “Very proud of the boys in their first game of our 100th season, great effort by all and it’s evident that the hard work at training is paying off. A big thanks to all the spectators who turned up to show their support. This is going to be a great year for the AEI.”

Thanks go to Aldridge RFC for providing tough opposition in an enthralling opener. Overall the game provided much to be optimistic about for the forthcoming season and still more to work on.

AEI (Rugby) RFC are celebrating 100 years this season. They would like anyone who has been part of making AEI history to join them on September 23, 2017. AEI will be holding a pitch-side picnic and playing a Centenary Game at GEC Park, giving all players past and present the opportunity to showcase their skills. The AEI (Rugby) RFC Centenary Ball at the Benn Hall will follow the afternoon event with guest speakers Tim Stimpson and John Bentley ‘Bentos’ both former England and British Lions players. For more details and tickets visit https://www.aeirfc.co.uk/aei100/ #AEI100

AEI and Aldridge teams on Saturday

AEI and Aldridge teams on Saturday

AEI (Rugby) RFC train Wednesday evenings at GEC Park and are always looking for new players. Whatever your skill, fitness or experience you are welcome to join them, more details at www.aeirfc.co.uk