Rugby: Penguins v Guy's Hospital Present XV (The Scanlan Cup)

 

Saturday 23rd April 2022

 

 

Paul Scanlan played for Guy's 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th XVs from 1984 to 1993 and was a founder member of the Penguins XV. He was 1st XV Vice-Captain, Student XV Captain and a GHRFC Vice-President. He qualified in 1989 and was the first of his year to achieve Consultant status, as an orthodontist working in SE London and Kent. His irrepressible humour, energy and zest for living were tragically curtailed by an acute illness which rapidly took his life. He remains sorely missed and is remembered by the annual Penguins v Guy's Present XV match which is played for The Scanlan Cup. 

Portrait painting of Paul Scanlan,  which hangs currently on the wall of the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent, at the entrance

to the Paul Scanlan Orthodontic Suite.

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The two teams united in friendship, even after the match

The 2022 Cup Match Write-Up 

 

The Annual Past vs Present game returned to HOP on 23rd April.  A brief valediction to the unforgettable Paul Scanlan was followed by a minute’s silence. Adios Amigo.

Following a highly competitive 1st XV vs Recent Leavers game, the Penguins took to the field against the 2nd XV  to contest the Scanlan Cup. With only a small nucleus of ‘seasoned’ Penguins available to play, the skipper was reliant on a number of recent leavers playing two games in succession.

With the hope that the AGM of the previous night had suitably taken its toll on the students, the Penguins were determined to entertain, with the conditions ideal for open, expansive rugby.

Never a team to disappoint, the Penguins took an early lead following some intricate off-loading up the middle of the pitch eventually leading to George Tsolakides barging over. Anchoring the team from the front row, George, along with Ed Shepherd, Jamie Jackson and Charlie West, provided the core of a pack that was dominant at set-play and in the loose. Playing at 8, Jamie was the beneficiary of scoring two push-over tries. Charlie was everywhere in both defence and attack and made it onto the score-sheet also.

 

From this platform, the captain, Tim Price, had an arm-chair ride at fly-half and was able to orchestrate the back-line (despite their tiredness from the previous game) into scoring some excellent tries of their own. The highlight of the first half being a length-of-the-pitch try that started with a defensive 5 metre scrum.

The second half produced more of the same: The Penguins defensive line held strong and, with the score approaching a half century to many  fewer, the referee was close to ending the misery for the students. However, he was persuaded to temporarily hold off with the sight of the GHRFC President warming up on the touch line. This allowed enough time for Ben Challacombe to enter the fray, and when the ball went out on the full from a re-start the perfect platform to pick-and-go from the base. A final score ensured a well-earned victory for the Penguins and retention of the Scanlan Cup.

The match was followed by the annual GHRFC Ball which raised over £1,500 in support of Penguins Against Cancer.

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Tim Price, winning captain, holds aloft (well, not quite) the prized trophy of the Scanlan Cup

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Chris Howell, 80 years young, proudly clutching the Scanlan Cup

L: Both teams respectfully observing a minute's silence in memory of Paul Scanlan, at the start of the match

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Penguins Against Cancer President, Charlie Beardmore, awards The Scanlan Cup to Tim Price, the captain of the victorious team, appropriately The Penguins.