Bellingen, Urunga and Dorrigo (BUDs) rugby gala day

Back, Left to right: - Geoff Tillitzki, Garry Matthews, Greg Bennett, Paul Bastick, Gary Howe, Bob Malone, Craig Sutton.
 
Front, Left to right:- Bruiser Beaumont, Geoff Humphries, Ian Smith, Darren Taylor, Danny Knight.
Back, Left to right: - Geoff Tillitzki, Garry Matthews, Greg Bennett, Paul Bastick, Gary Howe, Bob Malone, Craig Sutton. Front, Left to right:- Bruiser Beaumont, Geoff Humphries, Ian Smith, Darren Taylor, Danny Knight.

On Saturday September 23, the Bellingen, Urunga and Dorrigo (BUDs) Golden Oldies Rugby Team held their annual Gala Day at the Graveyard in Bellingen.

It was very hot and the field felt more like concrete than grass. However, this did not hinder or affect the awesome display of skills shown by the BUDs.

With a home ground advantage, the BUDs dominated every game they played and convincingly took out the Gala Day.  

They played teams from Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Grafton, South West Rocks and Port Macquarie.

This year the BUDs had a huge boost with three new players from Dorrigo Old Boys. There must be something in the water in Dorrigo because it has become a nursery of great footballers. Bruiser, Sim and Stuart were voted the ‘Most Valuable Players’ and as a collective were just unstoppable.

Noddy returned from injury and was rock solid in the centre. When he took the ball up it was like he had spiders on him.

Although, we still cannot work out how someone can tear a quadricep when their fast pace is best described as a speedy shuffle, Prince was on his best behaviour and did not throw one hospital pass all day, much to the delight of all his team mates.

Greg ‘Tricky’ Bennett was inspirational on the wing but he did have a few “Hands like a digital watch” moments resulting in a few dropped balls.

Although, he was playing under duress with an old rib injury,  Humpy was solid and pulled off some big hits, the best being one on Doc from Coffs Gropers who is well known as the hitman.

The Doc received a healthy dose of his own medicine. Smithy must have had an energy drink before he started because he played like a man possessed. He just went mad smashing everything in sight. Smithy also relived the glory days, when he was known as the ‘fastest man in the valley’ and won the sprint race of the day.

Smithy had held the 200-metre record at Bellingen High School from the 1970s until just recently. I believe it was only broken two years ago. Well done Ian.

Big Bad Bob Malone used all his experience to annoy the opposition. Some opposition players were so frustrated with Bob they cried. A GPS tracker revealed Christophe had run the most metres for the day and then had to go to work that evening. Great effort Christophe.

Eric the Red will be asking for a contract upgrade next season after he showed why he is a dual national. His bowling mates will have to get used to his absence as the lure of liniment and sticking his head in a scrum has proved too much for him to resist.

The day finished with the presentation of the Pink Boot Trophy, which was awarded to the Gropers. Although the BUDs were real the winners of the day, Coffs were so humiliated by their loss that there was a risk they would not come back next year without some incentive. Disclaimer warning: a bit of writer’s privilege may or may not have been used here.

The BUDs would like to give a big shout out to their sponsors for the day. Thanks Coopers Beer, Bellingen Golf Club, Bellingen Yellow Shed and Surfside Pizza and Bistro North Beach.

A very big thank you to Wendy, Bella, Jett, Nicole, Casey, Monique, DK, Garry, Les and The Fox for running the Ladies Tent, Bar and BBQ. It was a very successful day because of you all.