Midlands property specialists have claimed a national rugby crown for the 10th time in 11 years after winning the inaugural Four Regions Cup held at Northern Football Club, Gosforth.
Players from property firms including Worcester-based Barberry Developments, Birmingham-based Stoford Developments, Arcadis, Savills, Colliers, Harris Lamb, Gowling, Goodwin, Colmore Capital, Grafton plc, Innov8, GR8 and Arup, celebrated clinching the title during a hard-fought tournament in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Building upon the success of the Tri-Regions Tournament, which has been established for 10 years, this year saw the start of the Four Regions Rugby Cup featuring representative teams from the North East, Yorkshire, North West and Midlands.
Following nine years as reigning champions, 2017 was a first taste of defeat for the Midlands as a strong North West Property team took the win by 1 point.
Eager to reclaim the trophy, an 18-strong squad made the journey to Northern RFC in Newcastle upon Tyne. The festival also provided an opportunity to raise funds for St Oswald’s Hospice, a charity that provides specialist care for adults, young people, children and babies from across the North East.
Despite having a much smaller squad than the other regions, the Midlands were eager to take advantage of the warm weather and play flowing rugby, utilising the speed merchants in the back line. They won the first win against the North West Property team, but a challenging fixture list meant the Midlands had back-to-back games. The next game against the reigning champions North East Property was a draw.
Following a short break, the final game against the unbeaten Yorkshire Property team was set to decide the 2018 Four Regions Rugby Cup winners. A superb break from Stoford’s Dan Gallagher led to the Midlands taking the lead. A tense final few minutes of the game followed, with every member of the squad contributing maximum effort, ending in a well-deserved victory for the Midlands.
Jon Robinson, Barberry director and captain of the Midlands Property Team, said: “This is our 11thh year since Midlands Property RFC was created. This year proved to be a successful tournament, very well organised by our counterparts in the North East. Credit goes to all North West, Yorkshire and Midlands Property teams. Our thanks also go to our main sponsor Stoford, and other sponsors Barberry, MWRE, Savills, Industrial Agents Society, Cormack, GR8, RPS, Arcadis and Innov8.”
Dan Gallagher, Stoford joint managing director, said: “The Four-regions rugby tournament has quickly become one of the most well attended sporting events in the property calendar. As always the Midlands team played exceptionally well and we’re proud to have come back to the Midlands as crowned champions.”
With the trophy safely back where it belongs in the Midlands Property RFC trophy cabinet, the squad is eager to return in 2019 to defend the title, with next year’s event being held at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
Squad photo caption:
Back row (from left): Jag Mahal (Arcadis), Rob Kirby (Cormack Advertising), James Atkinson (Arcadis), Charles Harris (RPS), Adam McGuinness (MWRE), Hugh Walton (Savills), Jon Robinson (Barberry Developments), Dan Gallagher (Stoford Developments), Rob Sigley (Innov8), Duncan Cormack (Cormack Advertising), Stuart Doolittle (Grafton plc).
Front row: Cass Brookes (BK), Ben Brown (RPS Group plc), David Corridan ( Colmore Capital), Connah Jones (Arup), Tom Arnold (Colliers), James Willcock (Harris Lamb), Matt Chandler (Godwin Developments), Darrell Aldridge (Gowling).