Rugby: Penguins v Guy's Hospital Present XV (The Scanlan Cup)
Saturday 25th April 2015
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 played for the Scanlan Cup.
The 2015 Cup Match Write-Up
A glorious spring afternoon at HOP, which many argue to be the spiritual home of rugby. The side line, and the Penguins XV, was littered with old faces from yesteryear. Tom Jackson had somehow managed to also procure a number of younger players who exuded fluid, graceful aggression, gliding through complex moves, stepping, and weaving graceful patterns the length of the pitch - most unPenguine. The traditional Minute's Silence preceded James Ralston's kick off - battle was joined. The contest was furious with numerous thunderous collisions. The commitment and speed of attack were breathtaking. The Penguins set up a number of threatening charges but Dan 'The Wall' C-O Bordon stood firm throughout.
The Guy's present XV scored first with dazzling handling and frightening pace seeing Tom Crisp touch down in the corner, rapidly followed by another from Bryan. The Penguins rallied, and with optimism suspending reality, and a large dose of 20th century resilience, Davies and Thomason brought the sides level.
Half time saw the Present discussing tactics, and the Penguins drawing breath. The second half opened spectacularly, with the Penguins grabbing an early try, through Austin, uncharacteristically not playing at 7.
This was rapidly neutralised, as the Present showed their mettle. Fitness battled fatness, and ability in the ruck faced off with pluck, and luck. It was all square with 5 minutes to play. The Penguins were pressing for the winning try, with Howell, looking regal, aged 71, physically dominating his opposite number. The ball somehow squirted out from what appeared to be a secured Penguine ruck. Tom Knight pounced with alacrity, and the surprise counter caught the Penguin defence web-footed. The Present crashed over for the decisive score.
Charlies Popplewell and Beardmore paid fitting tribute to Paul Scanlan's talent, zest for life and massive contribution to GHRFC prior to the presentation of the Cup. It was another splendid day of champagne rugby played in glorious sunshine, and in excellent spirit, with the Present XV prevailing 51-45.
The Scanlan Memorial Trophy has been temporarily prized from the grasp of the Penguins: it will no doubt be recaptured next season. On this occasion the plaudits deservedly belong to an outstanding GHRFC Present XV.
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.
The late, great Paul Scanlan, flanked by Paul Chew and a small dog, tears his attention from the Penguins XV’s destruction of Bromley, to have his photo taken.
Stage left an anxious Kolin White, supersub, awaits his signal to enter the fray whilst conversing with Pat (ex-bomber pilot and loyal supporter) just to his right.
In Memoriam: Gone, But Never Forgotten...