The sand in front of the White Hart Hotel in Port Ellen was once again the scene of titanic collisions on Saturday 13th June. Beach rugby played at this intensity has to be one of the toughest games out there. This is full contact, relentlessly physical stuff. Sixteen men’s teams and eight women’s clashed barefoot in the energy sapping gloop.
The rules are simple. Ten a side, only five players on the pitch at any one time. Rolling substitutions. Four minutes each half with seven in the final. There are no scrums, or lineouts. No kicking. Barefoot. Full contact. No quarter.
Bruichladdich were once again the main sponsors. CEO Simon Coughlin who is also President of Islay Rugby Club said: “This great tournament produced a carnival atmosphere in Port Ellen once again. It was a particulary pleasure to see four new teams turning out this year, a special welcome to the Dillon Panthers, Rics Sharks, Edinburgh University Medics and the newly formed Aberfeldy Rugby Club. Special thanks to the Police for their support, and to Islay Doctors who looked after the thirty, hopefully minor, casualties. Thanks too to Rod Macfarlane for putting together our very own team of Botanists and apologies for confusing our long suffering referees by giving them all the number 22. Glad to see that The Botanist tent, which raises money for charities, was well attended.
“The Lassie Cup was won by Team 200 who beat Hillhead 4:2. Many congratulations to them. The Laddie Cup final featured a clash between our Bruichladdich Botanist boys and last years winners Kilchoman. It was a fantastic game, hard fought and conducted in the best spirit of rugby. Kilchoman were eventually to prevail 4:6. Well done guys – I am sure we will beat you next year…”.
“I would like to conclude with a special mention for our good friend Andy Wiggins who has worked so hard these past twelve years to make this tournament the success it is today. Thanks Andy…”